Modern 3D bioprinters have been shown to allow for precise control of structural geometry to build patientspecific scaffolds for tissue regeneration—primarily nonload- bearing tissue. However, 3D bioprinting is limited by cell viability, polymer cross-linking characteristics, and poor tensile properties. In comparison, electrospinning has been used to form fibrous structures with accelerated cellular maturation properties, improved growth and migration of cells, and increased tensile properties. Conversely, the mostly uncontrolled deposition of electrospun fibers can limit pore size and cell infiltration. In our Orthopaedic Biomechanics & Biomaterials Laboratory, a custom 3D Bioprinter + Electrospinner hybrid system (E-Spin Printer) was designed to merge the positive aspects of both technologies to allow for hierarchical, functionally-graded scaffolds with high load-bearing characteristics. This hybrid system was made from open-source components and is customizable to meet the accuracy, resolution, and repeatability of highend bioprinters and electrospinners, at a cost of less than $10,000. We introduce this technology and provide a broad description of one application for its use.
Aboubakr, sherif H.; Steven Nery; Lauren Long; Christopher A. Buksa; Chanju Fritch; and Christina Salas. "3D Bioprinter + Electrospinner for Bone-Ligament Tissue Engineering." UNM Orthopaedic Research Journal 6, 1 (2017). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/unm_jor/vol6/iss1/30