Interfacing active devices with biology in 3D printing could impact a variety of fields, from regenerative bioelectronics and smart prosthetics to biomedical devices and human-machine interfaces. Researchers at the University of Minnesota are exploring 3D printing with biology from the molecular scale of DNA and proteins to the macroscopic scale of tissues and organs. The goal is to print three-dimensional biological material that is soft and stretchable as well as temperature sensitive.
Interweaving Biology and Electronics
The ability to three-dimensionally interweave biological and functional materials could lead to the creation of devices that possess unique and compelling geometries, properties, and functionalities. Interfacing these active devices with biology in a 3D print environment could impact a variety of fields including regenerative bioelectronics, smart prosthetics, biomedical devices, and human-machine interfaces.
Personalized 3D Printing Biological Objects
The idea is to use an additive manufacturing technology that offers freeform, autonomous fabrication. This approach addresses a number of possibilities: (1) using 3D printing and imaging for personalized, multifunctional device architectures; (2) employing nano-inks as an enabling route for introducing diverse material functionality; and (3) 3D printing a range of functional inks to enable the interweaving of a diverse palette of materials, from biological to electronic.