AccScience Publishing / MSAM / Volume 2 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.36922/msam.1786

3D-printed triaxial nozzles fabricated by stereolithography to prevent backflow in soft matter biofabrication

Hamed I. Albalawi1,2,3,4 Dana M. Alhattab1,2,3 Aris P. Konstantinidis1,2,3,4 Khadija B. Shirazi1,2,3,4 Yousef Altayeb1 Charlotte A. E. Hauser1,2,3,4*
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1 Laboratory for Nanomedicine, Bioengineering Program, Division of Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), 23955-6900, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
2 Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), 23955-6900, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
3 KAUST Smart Health Initiative (KSHI), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), 23955-6900, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
4 Red Sea Research Center (RSRC), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), 23955-6900, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
Submitted: 10 September 2023 | Accepted: 24 September 2023 | Published: 29 September 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 ( )

Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting has a significant influence on tissue engineering by virtue of its capacity to produce complicated structures with complex geometries that are challenging to recreate using conventional manufacturing methods. However, the nozzle design and fabrication remain a limitation within extrusion-based 3D bioprinting, restricting and compromising the overall potential of this technology. The proposed nozzle design combines three Luer-Lok compatible inlets and an outlet within the printed body, eliminating manual assembly and enhancing fabrication consistency and quality. Furthermore, a finite element analysis of the fluid flow in the nozzle demonstrated the effectiveness of the nozzle to minimize backflow, in comparison with a traditional nozzle design. The tetrameric IIZK (Ac-Ile-IIe-Cha-Lys-NH2) and IIFK (Ac-Ile-IIe-Phe-Lys-NH2) peptide bioinks were used to 3D-print a variety of 3D scaffolds of varying complexity, with good resolution and gel continuity. Our work successfully demonstrated the fabrication of a novel design and its potential, and by means of 3D bioprinting, we assessed the biocompatibility and cell viability of the cell-laden constructs. This study highlights the capability of the novel design, which aids the field of tissue engineering, allowing 3D extrusion-based bioprinting to be utilized in the production of cell-incorporated constructions or scaffolds.

3D Bioprinting
3D-Printed nozzles
Extrusion-based 3D printing
Backflow prevention
Disposable nozzles
This work was financially supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology under the KAUST-Smart Health Initiative (project number: REI/1/4938).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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Materials Science in Additive Manufacturing, Electronic ISSN: 2810-9635 Published by AccScience Publishing