AccScience Publishing / IJB / Volume 9 / Issue 6 / DOI: 10.36922/ijb.0219
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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Computational fluid dynamics for the optimization of internal bioprinting parameters and mixing conditions

Gokhan Ates1,3 * Paulo Bartolo1,2 *
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1 Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
2 Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
3 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Abdullah Gul University, Kayseri, Turkey
Submitted: 5 October 2022 | Accepted: 21 December 2022 | Published: 22 June 2023
© 2023 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ )
Abstract

Tissue engineering requires the fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) multimaterial structures in complex geometries mimicking the hierarchical structure of biological tissues. To increase the mechanical and biological integrity of the tissue engineered structures, continuous printing of multiple materials through a printing head consisting of a single nozzle is crucial. In this work, numerical analysis was carried out to investigate the extrusion process of two different shear-thinning biomaterial solutions (alginate and gelatin) inside a novel single-nozzle dispensing system consisting of cartridges and a static mixer for varying input pressures, needle geometries, and outlet diameters. Systematic analysis of the dispensing process was conducted to describe the flow rate, velocity field, pressure drop, and shear stress distribution throughout the printing head. The spatial distribution of the biopolymer solutions along the mixing chamber was quantitatively analyzed and the simulation results were validated by comparing the pressure drop values with empirical correlations. The simulation results showed that the proposed dispensing system enables to fabricate homogenous material distribution across the nozzle outlet. The predicted shear stress along the proposed printing head model is lower than the critical shear values which correspond to negligible cell damage, suggesting that the proposed dispensing system can be used to print cell-laden tissue engineering constructs.

 

Keywords
3D Printing
Bioprinting
Biomaterials
Computational fluid dynamics
Extrusion
Tissue engineering
Funding
This project has been partially supported by the University of Manchester and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) of the UK, the Global Challenges Research Fund (CRF), grant number EP/ R01513/1.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; or in the decision to publish the results.
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International Journal of Bioprinting, Electronic ISSN: 2424-8002 Print ISSN: 2424-7723, Published by AccScience Publishing