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Fabricating Lattice Structures via 3D-Printing
Over time, the fabrication of lattice, porous structures has always been a controversial field for researchers and practitioners. Such structures could be fabricated in a stochastic way, thus, with limited control over the actual porosity percentage. The emerging technology of 3D printing, offered an automated process that did not require the presence of molds and operated on a layer-by-layer deposition basis, provided the ability to fabricate almost any shape through a variety of materials and methods under the umbrella of the ASTM terminology “additive manufacturing”. In the field of biomedical engineering, the technology was embraced and adopted for relevant applications, offering an elevated degree of design freedom. Applications range in the cases where custom-shaped, patient-specific items have to be produced. Scaffold structures were already a field under research when 3D printing was introduced. These structures had to act as biocompatible, bioresorbable and biodegradable substrates, where the human cells could attach and proliferate. In this way, tissue could be regenerated inside the human body. One of the most important criteria for such a structure to fulfil is the case-specific internal geometry design with a controlled porosity percentage. 3D printing technology offered the ability to tune the internal porosity percentage with great accuracy, along with the ability to fabricate any internal design pattern.
2. Scaffold Structures Modus Operandi Criteria
Scaffold Desired Mechanical Behavior Characteristics
3. The Potential of 3D-Printed Scaffold Structures
|3D Printing Techniques||Materials||Strategy/Printing Process|
|Acellular Scaffolds||Powder Bed Fusion
Cobalt-Chromium-Molybdenum alloys in powder form 
|Layers of powder thermally fused by an energy source (laser or electron beam)|
|Direct Energy Deposition (DED)||Metal alloys in powder or wire form (titanium/aluminum alloys, refractory metals such as tantalum, tungsten, niobium)||The feedstock material is forwarded through the nozzle, where it is melted by a focused heat source (laser or electron beam) and deposited on the build platform. Both nozzle and heat source are attached on a robotic arm or a gantry system|
|Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)||Biodegradable and biocompatible polymers in filament form such as PCL etc. ||The filament material is forwarded to the extrusion nozzle where it is heated and melted. It is then deposited on a build platform enclosed in a heated chamber|
|Cellular Scaffolds||Extrusion Based Bioprinting (EBB)||Hydrogel solutions, bio-ink materials ||Bio-ink material is dispensed with high precision resulting in targeted cell deposition. Cells are encapsulated in cylindrical filaments forming pre-determined 3D structures|
|Laser Based Bioprinting * (LBB)||Cells of various types, culture medium ||A laser beam focused through a low numerical value aperture lens, resulting in the deposition of cells through culture media on pre-designated spots on a glass surface|
|Inkjet Based Bioprinting * (DNA and protein printing)||Hydrogels (Alginate, PEG, Alkanethiols etc.), binders (acrylic ink, phosphoric acid, PVA etc.) Polymers (PCL, PLA, PLGA etc.) dissolved or dispersed in organic solvents ||Modified commercial inkjet printers that deposit bio-ink material that forms self-assembled layers|
|Cell inkjet Bioprinting *||Cells of various types, bio-paper ||Direct deposition of cells using printheads on a substrate|
|Microvalve-based bioprinting *||Hydrogels of specific viscosity ||The process uses a platform and multiple electromechanical micro-valve printheads depositing bio-ink|
|VAT Polymerization||Bio-resins including PEGDA and GelMA etc. ||Specific wavelength laser is emitted in the bio-resins achieving its curing via photopolymerization processes|
The entry is from 10.3390/applmech2020018
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