mSLAb – An open-source masked stereolithography (mSLA) bioprinter

Benedikt K. Kaufmann, Matthias Rudolph, Markus Pechtl, Geronimo Wildenburg, Oliver Hayden, Hauke Clausen-Schaumann, Stefanie Sudhop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

3D bioprinting is a tissue engineering approach using additive manufacturing to fabricate tissue equivalents for regenerative medicine or medical drug testing. For this purpose, biomaterials that provide the essential microenvironment to support the viability of cells integrated directly or seeded after printing are processed into three-dimensional (3D) structures. Compared to extrusion-based 3D printing, which is most commonly used in bioprinting, stereolithography (SLA) offers a higher printing resolution and faster processing speeds with a wide range of cell-friendly materials such as gelatin- or collagen-based hydrogels and SLA is, therefore, well suited to generate 3D tissue constructs. While there have been numerous publications of conversions and upgrades for extrusion-based printers, this is not the case for state-of-the-art SLA technology in bioprinting. The high cost of proprietary printers severely limits teaching and research in SLA bioprinting. With mSLAb, we present a low-cost and open-source high-resolution 3D bioprinter based on masked SLA (mSLA). mSLAb is based on an entry-level (€350) desktop mSLA printer (Phrozen Sonic Mini 4 K), equipped with temperature control and humidification of the printing chamber to enable the processing of cell-friendly hydrogels. Additionally, the build platform was redesigned for easy sample handling and microscopic analysis of the printed constructs. All modifications were done with off-the-shelf hardware and in-house designed 3D printed components, printed with the same printer that was being modified. We validated the system by printing macroscopic porous scaffolds as well as hollow channels from gelatin-based hydrogels as representative structures needed in tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00543
JournalHardwareX
Volume19
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2024

Keywords

  • Bioprinter
  • Bioprinting
  • Hydrogel
  • mSLA
  • Stereolithography
  • Tissue Engineering

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