bioprinting (noun): the use of 3D printing technology with materials that incorporate viable living cells, e.g. to produce tissue for reconstructive surgery.
Bioprinting@Berkeley is an interdisciplinary team of undergraduates, united by an interest in the engineering and scientific processes behind the tissue engineering method of 3D bioprinting.
Our goal is for members to creatively and experimentally engage with the field of tissue engineering beyond the classroom. Bioprinting @ Berkeley members are able to
(1) Learn about the engineering challenges and applications of bioprinting
(2) Significantly contribute to a long-term tissue engineering project
(3) Develop technical skill sets in biology and engineering
(4) Gain experience in industry relations and teaching
Bioprinting@Berkeley offers a DeCal class, where students gain a strong understanding of the fundamental concepts of bioprinting, and are also able to survey the many aspects of bioprinting at the industry standard level. We also offer a club, where students work in project teams to develop the bioprinter and bioinks.
The Bioprinting@Berkeley Engineering Team seeks to foster the assimilation of new and novel 3D printing techniques to incorporate into our bioprinting designs. We work in close conjunction with the Bioinks team to develop engineering methods for incorporating vascularized tissue for three-dimensional bioprinting using the open-source RepRap 3D printing system. Ongoing projects include facilitation of a multi-extruder system, algorithmic calibration of bioinks, and local temperature control for hydrogel reversibility.
Our current bioinks are hydrogels encapsulating dispersed cells. We are primarily working with alginate-based hydrogels as scaffolds for our structures. We have developed printable bioinks by optimizing formulations for: 1) sodium alginate in isolation; 2) sodium alginate in combination with gelatin; and 3) sodium alginate in combination with Pluronic F127. We also hope to experiment with other biomaterials for our scaffolds, such as hyaluronic acid and PCL.