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3d Bioprinting

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With the backing of making@stanford, Mark Skylar-Scott spearheaded BIOE 261: 3D Bioprinting Laboratory, a comprehensive course that attracted a diverse cohort of 13 students, encompassing undergraduates, master’s, and PhD candidates. Structured to encompass both theoretical lectures and practical workshops, BIOE 261 spanned ten weeks, with the initial five weeks dedicated to immersive hands-on learning followed by a project phase where students collaborated in teams of three to undertake research projects.

Throughout the course, he conducted six workshops meticulously designed to equip students with essential skills and knowledge in 3D bioprinting. These workshops provided step-by-step guidance on various aspects, including assembling and configuring a 3D bioprinter from a kit, generating G-Code for multimaterial printing, and executing embedded 3D bioprinting to fabricate complex structures like a tri-leaflet heart valve. Additionally, students gained proficiency in culturing human cells, preparing bioinks, and employing staining techniques to assess cell behavior in printed tissues. Notably, they also delved into the intricacies of 3D printing by creating custom nozzles for diverse applications such as multimaterial printing and core-shell nozzle designs.

The overarching learning objectives of these workshops were multi-faceted. Students were not only tasked with grasping the intricacies of multimaterial 3D bioprinting but also received foundational instruction in bioink formulation, cell culture techniques, and microscopy analysis. Furthermore, they honed their skills in 3D CAD design and printing methodologies, gaining insights into the diverse approaches and principles underpinning 3D bioprinting technology.

Transitioning to the project phase of the course, students collaborated in five teams, each comprising two or three members. The projects undertaken were diverse in scope, ranging from the development of electronic sensors for automated nozzle alignment to the design and fabrication of low-cost 3D printed auger dispensers. Notably, some teams ventured into cutting-edge research, such as 3D printing human heart cells to construct a functioning biopump with a valve, showcasing the innovative potential nurtured within the BIOE 261: 3D Bioprinting Laboratory.

making@stanford plays a pivotal role in supporting BIOE261 through three essential avenues. Tony Tam, a Making Mentor backed by Making@Stanford, assumes the role of course assistant for BIOE 261, undertaking various responsibilities ranging from material preparation to workshop curation and instruction manual drafting. Moreover, Tony serves as a mentor for one of the five teams involved in the course. In conjunction with his duties, Tony conducts a 3D printing workshop at the Utengsu Teaching Labs (UTL), imparting practical knowledge to a group comprising both students and staff on the operation of the new Form3+ printer.

The acquisition of a Form3+ 3D printer, facilitated by Making@Stanford, marks a significant advancement for the UTL, rendering this cutting-edge technology accessible to all students and classes. The Form3+ printer proves instrumental in BIOE 261 projects, enabling student groups to actualize their designs and prototypes. Notably, students utilize the printer to materialize nozzle designs crafted using 3D CAD software. Tony Tam further extends his support by conducting training sessions aimed at familiarizing students across the School of Engineering with the Form3+ printer, thereby fostering widespread utilization of this resource.

In a recent development, Making@Stanford secured funding to support an RAship for Sylvie Wilson, who will contribute to the development of a low-cost light-driven 3D bioprinter. This innovative printer holds promise for future application in workshops 7 and 8, where students will receive hands-on instruction on building and operating a stereolithography printer. As we embark on this exciting journey, we eagerly anticipate sharing our progress in the construction of our light-based 3D printer system, made possible through the steadfast support of Making@Stanford.