Flexible Materials for High-Resolution 3D Printing of Microfluidic Devices/ Source: ACS Publication
Microfluidic 3D printing for cellular applications have been evaluated through a case study undertaken by researchers at Queensland University of Technology using 3D printing resins.
DMG Digital Enterprises’ MOIIN High Temp and MOIIN Tech Clear resins were utilized in combination with ASIGA UV Max X27 DLP 3D printers for this research. Using this method, researchers were able to 3D print pillar arrays, which are used to create droplets, constricting channels, and 2D monolayer culture devices.
Complex unibody 3D printing of microarchitecture for cell trapping and flow manipulation; compatibility with imaging platform; and compatibility with imaging platforms like microscopes were evaluated to determine if MOIIN 3D printing materials are suitable for cell based research.
Microfluidic 3D printing for cell-based applications are viable using MOIIN High Temp and MOIIN Tech Clear, the study conducted by Louis Ong and Yi-Chin Toh concluded. It has been shown that both resins are biocompatible and lend themselves well to microscope imaging.
This finding may pave the way for the fast development of advanced Microfluidic 3D printing with medicinal applications.
Microfluidic 3D printing devices
Moving, manipulating, and analyzing liquids on a linear scale smaller than one millimeter is the focus of Microfluidic 3D printing. Molding and embossing an elastomer onto a mold to create microstructures is the traditional method of choice for most microfluidic device design and prototype, and here is where PDMS soft lithography comes in. Most designs of microfluidic channels can only be implemented on a single plane because of the molding nature of soft lithography. Manual assembly by technicians is required for multiplanar channels, which slows down prototype cycles.
3D Printing of Inertial Microfluidic Devices/ Source: Nature
Rapid prototyping of microfluidic 3D printing devices is made possible by 3D printing because fluidic channels may be made without any further assembly processes. In addition, the use of plastics facilitates the transfer of knowledge from laboratories to industrial production lines.
The 3D printing and testing process
Microfluidic 3D printing devices with a 50 m z-resolution were designed using Autodesk’s AutoCAD 3D design software. After the 3D printed components were completed, they were submerged in an isopropyl alcohol (IPA) solution and sonicated for 480 seconds. To remove any remaining resin from the microchannels, a syringe was used to gently flush the area.
The components were then sonicated in IPA for a total of 3 cycles, each lasting 480 seconds. After 2 hours in clean IPA, the devices were moved back to the clean tank, where any remaining resin was scrubbed away. After the three hours in the UV cleaning chamber, the devices were blown dry for further 20 minutes of heat cure at 60°C.
Typical channel designs for cell-based investigations were found to be supported by both MOIIN High Temp and MOIIN Tech Clear resins during microfluidic 3D printing device manufacturing. In fact, at 1:3 aspect ratios, both of MOIIN’s resins were able to build very precise micro-architecture with dimensions as tiny as 300 m wide.
The compatibility of MOIIN’s resin in microscopy was evaluated since microscopy is still the preferred platform for tissue engineers and biologists performing studies with microfluidic devices. down this study, the researchers zeroed down on MOIIN Tech Clear, a material optimized for 3D printing clear acrylic. High-resolution imaging of microchannel microarchitecture down to 10X and high-resolution particle flow were both achieved using this resin.
Additionally, tissue monolayer culture biocompatibility with both MOIIN resins was studied. Researchers used 3D-printed, two-dimensional culture channels to seed liver HepG2 cell lines. After five days, both resins showed low levels of cell death in the laboratory. Therefore, both MOIIN High Temp and MOIIN Tech Clear resins were shown to be biocompatible and suitable for use in 3D printed systems involving cell-based applications.
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