On the optimization of low-cost FDM 3D printers for accurate replication of patient-specific abdominal aortic aneurysm geometry.
ABSTRACT: Background:There is a potential for direct model manufacturing of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) using 3D printing technique for generating flexible semi-transparent prototypes. A patient-specific AAA model was manufactured using fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing technology. A flexible, semi-transparent thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), called Cheetah Water (produced by Ninjatek, USA), was used as the flexible, transparent material for model manufacture with a hydrophilic support structure 3D printed with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). Printing parameters were investigated to evaluate their effect on 3D-printing precision and transparency of the final model. ISO standard tear resistance tests were carried out on Ninjatek Cheetah specimens for a comparison of tear strength with silicone rubbers. Results:It was found that an increase in printing speed decreased printing accuracy, whilst using an infill percentage of 100% and printing nozzle temperature of 255 °C produced the most transparent results. The model had fair transparency, allowing external inspection of model inserts such as stent grafts, and good flexibility with an overall discrepancy between CAD and physical model average wall thicknesses of 0.05 mm (2.5% thicker than the CAD model). The tear resistance test found Ninjatek Cheetah TPU to have an average tear resistance of 83 kN/m, higher than any of the silicone rubbers used in previous AAA model manufacture. The model had lower cost (4.50 GBP per model), shorter manufacturing time (25 h 3 min) and an acceptable level of accuracy (2.61% error) compared to other methods. Conclusions:It was concluded that the model would be of use in endovascular aneurysm repair planning and education, particularly for practicing placement of hooked or barbed stents, due to the model's balance of flexibility, transparency, robustness and cost-effectiveness.
Project description:This paper presents the formulation, inkjet printing, and vacuum forming of a conductive and stretchable polymer, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS), ink on a stretchable and transparent thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) substrate. The formulation of the conductive and stretchable ink is achieved by combining PEDOT:PSS with additional solvents, to achieve the right inkjet properties for drop-on-demand (DoD) inkjet printing. A conductive pattern can be printed from the 21 µm orifice on a flexible and stretchable TPU substrate, with a linewidth down to 44 µm. The properties of the printed pattern, in terms of sheet resistance, morphology, transparency, impact of weather conditions, and stretching are investigated and show sheet resistances up to 45 Ohm/sq and transparencies as high as 95%, which is comparable to indium tin oxide (ITO). Moreover, in contrast to ITO, one-time stretching up to 40% can be achieved, increasing the sheet resistance up to 214 Ohm/sq only, showing the great potential of this ink for one-time stretching. Finally, as a proof of this one-time stretching, the printed samples are vacuum formed around a 3D object, still showing sufficient conductivity to be applied as a capacitive touch sensor.
Project description:The vast majority of microfluidic systems are molded in poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) by soft lithography due to the favorable properties of PDMS: biocompatible, elastomeric, transparent, gas-permeable, inexpensive, and copyright-free. However, PDMS molding involves tedious manual labor, which makes PDMS devices prone to assembly failures and difficult to disseminate to research and clinical settings. Furthermore, the fabrication procedures limit the 3D complexity of the devices to layered designs. Stereolithography (SL), a form of 3D-printing, has recently attracted attention as a way to customize the fabrication of biomedical devices due to its automated, assembly-free 3D fabrication, rapidly decreasing costs, and fast-improving resolution and throughput. However, existing SL resins are not biocompatible and patterning transparent resins at high resolution remains difficult. Here we report procedures for the preparation and patterning of a transparent resin based on low-MW poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (MW 250) (PEG-DA-250). The 3D-printed devices are highly transparent and cells can be cultured on PEG-DA-250 prints for several days. This biocompatible SL resin and printing process solves some of the main drawbacks of 3D-printed microfluidic devices: biocompatibility and transparency. In addition, it should also enable the production of non-microfluidic biomedical devices.
Project description:A novel method for integrating and embedding objects to add new functionalities during 3D printing based on fused deposition modeling (FDM) (also known as fused filament fabrication or molten polymer deposition) is presented. Unlike typical 3D printing, FDM-based 3D printing could allow objects to be integrated and embedded during 3D printing and the FDM-based 3D printed devices do not typically require any post-processing and finishing. Thus, various fluidic devices with integrated glass cover slips or polystyrene films with and without an embedded porous membrane, and optical devices with embedded Corning(®) Fibrance™ Light-Diffusing Fiber were 3D printed to demonstrate the versatility of the FDM-based 3D printing and embedding method. Fluid perfusion flow experiments with a blue colored food dye solution were used to visually confirm fluid flow and/or fluid perfusion through the embedded porous membrane in the 3D printed fluidic devices. Similar to typical 3D printed devices, FDM-based 3D printed devices are translucent at best unless post-polishing is performed and optical transparency is highly desirable in any fluidic devices; integrated glass cover slips or polystyrene films would provide a perfect optical transparent window for observation and visualization. In addition, they also provide a compatible flat smooth surface for biological or biomolecular applications. The 3D printed fluidic devices with an embedded porous membrane are applicable to biological or chemical applications such as continuous perfusion cell culture or biocatalytic synthesis but without the need for any post-device assembly and finishing. The 3D printed devices with embedded Corning(®) Fibrance™ Light-Diffusing Fiber would have applications in display, illumination, or optical applications. Furthermore, the FDM-based 3D printing and embedding method could also be utilized to print casting molds with an integrated glass bottom for polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) device replication. These 3D printed glass bottom casting molds would result in PDMS replicas with a flat smooth bottom surface for better bonding and adhesion.
Project description:Direct 3D printing technologies to produce 3D optoelectronic architectures have been explored extensively over the last several years. Although commercially available 3D printing techniques are useful for many applications, their limits in printable materials, printing resolutions, or processing temperatures are significant challenges for structural optoelectronics in achieving fully 3D-printed devices on 3D mechanical frames. Herein, the production of active optoelectronic devices with various form factors using a hybrid 3D printing process in ambient air is reported. This hybrid 3D printing system, which combines digital light processing for printing 3D mechanical architectures and a successive electrohydrodynamic jet for directly printing transparent pixels of organic light-emitting diodes at room temperature, can create high-resolution, transparent displays embedded inside arbitrarily shaped, 3D architectures in air. Also, the demonstration of a 3D-printed, eyeglass-type display for a wireless, augmented reality system is an example of another application. These results represent substantial progress in the development of next-generation, freeform optoelectronics.
Project description:Transparent conductive films with hexagonal and square patterns were fabricated on poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) substrates by screen printing technology utilizing a poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) and silver nanowire (Ag NWs) composite ink. The printing parameters-mesh number, printing layer, mass ratio of PEDOT:PSS to Ag NWs and pattern shape-have a significant influence on the photoelectric properties of the composite films. The screen mesh with a mesh number of 200 possesses a suitable mesh size of 74 µm for printing clear and integrated grids with high transparency. With an increase in the printing layer and a decrease in the mass ratio of PEDOT:PSS to Ag NWs, the transmittance and resistance of the printed grids both decreased. When the printing layer is 1, the transmittance and resistance are 85.6% and 2.23 kΩ for the hexagonal grid and 77.3% and 8.78 kΩ for the square grid, indicating that the more compact arrangement of square grids reduces the transmittance, and the greater number of connections of the square grid increases the resistance. Therefore, it is believed that improved photoelectric properties of transparent electrodes could be obtained by designing a printing pattern with optimized printing parameters. Additionally, the Ag NWs/PEDOT:PSS composite films with hexagonal and square patterns exhibit high transparency and good uniformity, suggesting promising applications in large-area and uniform heaters.
Project description:This paper addresses the potential of self-made polyester-urethane filament as a candidate for Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)-based 3D printing (3DP) in medical applications. Since the industry does not provide many ready-made solutions of medical-grade polyurethane filaments, we undertook research aimed at presenting the process of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) filament formation, detailed characteristics, and 3DP of specially designed elastic porous structures as candidates in cancellous tissue engineering. Additionally, we examined whether 3D printing affects the structure and thermal stability of the filament. According to the obtained results, the processing parameters leading to the formation of high-quality TPU filament (TPU_F) were captured. The results showed that TPU_F remains stable under the FFF 3DP conditions. The series of in vitro studies involving long- and short-term degradation (0.1 M phosphate-buffered saline (PBS); 5 M sodium hydroxide (NaOH)), cytotoxicity (ISO 10993:5) and bioactivity (simulated body fluid (SBF) incubation), showed that TPU printouts possessing degradability of long-term degradable tissue constructs, are biocompatible and susceptible to mineralization in terms of hydroxyapatite (HAp) formation during SBF exposure. The formation of HAp on the surface of the specially designed porous tissue structures (PTS) was confirmed by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) studies. The compression test of PTS showed that the samples were strengthened due to SBF exposure and deposited HAp on their surface. Moreover, the determined values of the tensile strength (~30 MPa), Young's modulus (~0.2 GPa), and compression strength (~1.1 MPa) allowed pre-consideration of TPU_F for FFF 3DP of cancellous bone tissue structures.
Project description:3D printing technology has been extensively applied in the medical field, but the ability to replicate tissues that experience significant loads and undergo substantial deformation, such as the aorta, remains elusive. Therefore, this study proposed a method to imitate the mechanical characteristics of the aortic wall by 3D printing embedded patterns and combining two materials with different physical properties. First, we determined the mechanical properties of the selected base materials (Agilus and Dragonskin 30) and pattern materials (VeroCyan and TPU 95A) and performed tensile testing. Three patterns were designed and embedded in printed Agilus-VeroCyan and Dragonskin 30-TPU 95A specimens. Tensile tests were then performed on the printed specimens, and the stress-strain curves were evaluated. The samples with one of the two tested orthotropic patterns exceeded the tensile strength and strain properties of a human aorta. Specifically, a tensile strength of 2.15 ± 0.15 MPa and strain at breaking of 3.18 ± 0.05 mm/mm were measured in the study; the human aorta is considered to have tensile strength and strain at breaking of 2.0-3.0 MPa and 2.0-2.3 mm/mm, respectively. These findings indicate the potential for developing more representative aortic phantoms based on the approach in this study.
Project description:Stereolithography (SL) is emerging as an attractive alternative to soft lithography for fabricating microfluidic devices due to its low cost and high design efficiency. Low molecular weight poly(ethylene glycol)diacrylate (MW = 258) (PEG-DA-258) has been used for SL 3D-printing of biocompatible microdevices at submillimeter resolution. However, 3D-printing resins that simultaneously feature high transparency, high biocompatibility, and high resolution are still lacking. It is found that photosensitizer isopropyl thioxanthone can, in a concentration-dependent manner, increase the absorbance of the resin (containing PEG-DA-258 and photoinitator Irgacure-819) by over an order of magnitude. This increase in absorbance allows for SL printing of microdevices at sub pixel resolution with commercially available desktop printers and without compromising transparency or biocompatibility. The assembly-free, rapid (<15 h) 3D-printing of a variety of complex 3D microfluidic devices such as a 3D-fluid router, a passive chaotic micro-mixer, an active micro-mixer with pneumatic microvalves, and high-aspect ratio (37:1) microchannels of single pixel width is demonstrated. These manufacturing capabilities are unavailable in conventional microfluidic rapid prototyping techniques. The low absorption of small hydrophobic molecules and microfluidic labeling of cultured mammalian cells in 3D-printed PEG-DA-258 microdevices is demonstrated, indicating the potential of PEG-DA-based fabrication of cell-based assays, drug discovery, and organ-on-chip platforms.
Project description:Nano-silver paste, as an important basic material for manufacturing thick film components, ultra-fine circuits, and transparent conductive films, has been widely used in various fields of electronics. Here, aiming at the shortcomings of the existing nano-silver paste in printing technology and the problem that the existing printing technology cannot achieve the printing of high viscosity, high solid content nano-silver paste, a nano-silver paste suitable for electric-field-driven (EFD) micro-scale 3D printing is developed. The result shows that there is no oxidation and settlement agglomeration of nano-silver paste with a storage time of over six months, which indicates that it has good dispersibility. We focus on the printing process parameters, sintering process, and electrical conductivity of nano-silver paste. The properties of the nano-silver paste were analyzed and the feasibility and practicability of the prepared nano-silver paste in EFD micro-scale 3D printing technology were verified. The experiment results indicate that the printed silver mesh which can act as transparent electrodes shows high conductivity (1.48 ?/sq) and excellent transmittance (82.88%). The practical viability of the prepared nano-silver paste is successfully demonstrated with a deicing test. Additionally, the experimental results show that the prepared silver mesh has excellent heating properties, which can be used as transparent heaters.
Project description:In this study, tough and conductive hydrogels were printed by 3D printing method. The combination of thermo-responsive agar and ionic-responsive alginate can highly improve the shape fidelity. With addition of agar, ink viscosity was enhanced, further improving its rheological characteristics for a precise printing. After printing, the printed construct was cured via free radical polymerization, and alginate was crosslinked by calcium ions. Most importantly, with calcium crosslinking of alginate, mechanical properties of 3D printed hydrogels are greatly improved. Furthermore, these 3D printed hydrogels can serve as ionic conductors, because hydrogels contain large amounts of water that dissolve excess calcium ions. A wearable resistive strain sensor that can quickly and precisely detect human motions like finger bending was fabricated by a 3D printed hydrogel film. These results demonstrate that the conductive, transparent, and stretchable hydrogels are promising candidates as soft wearable electronics for healthcare, robotics and entertainment.