Scientists utilize MOIIN resins to assess the viability of using 3D printing of microfluidics for applications involving cells.

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Scientists from the Queensland University of Technology recently conducted a case study to evaluate the use of 3D printing resins for the production of microfluidic components for cell-based applications. In this study, the researchers used MOIIN High Temp and MOIIN Tech Clear resins from DMG Digital Enterprises, along with ASIGA UV Max X27 DLP 3D printers.

Traditionally, microfluidic device design and prototyping have relied on PDMS soft lithography, which involves molding and embossing an elastomer onto a mold to produce microstructures. However, this method has limitations, as it is difficult to create multiplanar channels and requires manual assembly, resulting in low prototyping turnover rates.

The researchers explored the use of 3D printing as an alternative method for producing microfluidic devices. 3D printing allows for the production of fluidic channels without the need for extra assembly steps, which accelerates the prototyping turnover rate. Additionally, 3D printing with plastic materials enables easier translation of research into large-scale manufacturing processes.

The researchers used AutoCAD 3D design software to design the microfluidic devices, which were fabricated at a z-resolution of 50 μm. After 3D printing, the parts were cleaned using an isopropyl-alcohol (IPA) bath and sonication to remove any trapped resin. The devices were then subjected to multiple cycles of sonication before being transferred to a clean IPA tank for further cleaning. Finally, the clean devices were heat cured and subjected to UV cleaning.

Both MOIIN High Temp and MOIIN Tech Clear resins were found to be compatible with the fabrication of common microfluidic device channel geometries for cell-based experiments. The researchers also assessed the compatibility of the resins with microscopy, as microscopy is commonly used in tissue engineering and biology experiments. Using MOIIN Tech Clear resin, the researchers achieved high-resolution imaging of microchannels and high-resolution particle flow.

The biocompatibility of both MOIIN resins with tissue monolayer cultures was also investigated. The researchers 3D printed 2D culture channels, into which liver HepG2 cell lines were seeded. After five days, limited cell death was observed for both resins, indicating that they are biocompatible and can support cell-based applications within 3D printed devices.

Overall, the study concluded that MOIIN High Temp and MOIIN Tech Clear resins are feasible for the 3D printing of microfluidic channels for cell-based applications. The use of 3D printing in microfluidics provides opportunities for rapid prototyping and easier translation into large-scale manufacturing processes. This research opens up possibilities for the development of new generations of microfluidic channels for biomedical applications.

To read the full case report, click here.

Modelling Techniques for Advancing Microfluidics-Based 3D Bioprinting: A Step Towards 3D Printed Human Organs

In the field of medical 3D printing, the potential to create fully functional human organs has always been a tantalizing goal. Imagine a world where organ transplantation waiting lists no longer exist, where patients in need can receive perfectly tailored organs created from their own cells. This vision is slowly becoming a reality, thanks to the development of advanced modelling techniques that enable the precise creation of complex structures at the microscale.

One company at the forefront of this groundbreaking technology is Phase Inc, a North Carolina-based medical 3D printing startup. Recognizing the immense potential of microfluidics-based 3D bioprinting, Phase Inc has been working tirelessly to advance this field. Last year, the company announced a partnership with Virginia Tech, aiming to further push the boundaries of microfluidics 3D printing.

Through this collaboration, Phase Inc’s LE3D technology is being leveraged to develop novel microfluidic devices that hold great promise in the field of medical research. One area where these devices can make a significant impact is in formulating new medical treatments for conditions such as brain cancer. By enabling researchers to recreate the complex microenvironment of the brain, these microfluidic devices open new avenues for studying the disease and developing targeted therapies.

But the applications of microfluidics-based 3D bioprinting go beyond cancer research. These devices can also streamline the process of drug discovery, revolutionizing the way new drugs are tested and developed. Traditional methods of drug testing are time-consuming, expensive, and often fail to accurately predict human responses. With microfluidic devices, researchers can create miniature organ models that mimic the specific functions of various organs, allowing for more accurate testing and reducing reliance on animal models.

In addition to drug discovery, microfluidics 3D printing has the potential to revolutionize health diagnostics. By creating microfluidic devices that can analyze small samples of bodily fluids, such as blood or urine, healthcare professionals can obtain rapid and accurate diagnostic information. This could lead to earlier detection of diseases, more targeted treatment plans, and improved patient outcomes.

The advancements in microfluidics-based 3D bioprinting brought forth by Phase Inc and its partners are truly remarkable. The ability to create intricate structures and replicate the microscale complexity of human organs holds immense potential for the future of medicine. However, there are still many challenges to overcome before 3D printed human organs become a widespread reality. The development of suitable biomaterials, the need for precise control of cell behavior, and the scalability of the manufacturing process are just a few of the hurdles that researchers and engineers must tackle.

Nonetheless, with each new breakthrough in the field, we move closer to a future where organ transplantation is no longer a limitation to healthcare. The possibilities are endless, and the impact on patients’ lives cannot be understated. As we continue to advance our understanding and capabilities in microfluidics-based 3D bioprinting, we must remember the immense responsibility we hold in ensuring the ethical and equitable use of this technology.

If you are passionate about additive manufacturing and interested in contributing to this transformative field, be sure to explore the exciting opportunities available in the additive manufacturing industry. Visit 3D Printing Jobs to view a selection of available roles and kickstart your career in this promising industry.

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Featured image: A 2D chamber produced using MOIIN resin viewed under fluorescent light. Photo courtesy of Queensland University of Technology.

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