Issue 2, 2014

Light-assisted direct-write of 3D functional biomaterials


Light-assisted 3D direct-printing of biomaterials and cellular-scaffolds has the potential to develop novel lab-on-a-chip devices (LOCs) for a variety of biomedical applications, from drug discovery and diagnostic testing to in vitro tissue engineering and regeneration. Direct-writing describes a broad family of fabrication methods that typically employ computer-controlled translational stages to manufacture structures at multi-length scales. This review focuses on light-assisted direct-write fabrication for generating 3D functional scaffolds with precise micro- and nano-architecture, using both synthetic as well as naturally derived biomaterials. Two bioprinting approaches are discussed in detail – projection printing and laser-based systems – where each method is capable of modulating multiple scaffold parameters, such as 3D architecture, mechanical properties (e.g. stiffness), Poisson's ratio, chemical gradients, biological cell distributions, and porosity. The light-assisted direct-writing techniques described in this review provide the reader with alternative approaches to fabricate 3D biomaterials for utility in LOCs.

Graphical abstract: Light-assisted direct-write of 3D functional biomaterials

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Article information

Article type
Critical Review
23 May 2013
08 Oct 2013
First published
20 Nov 2013
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Lab Chip, 2014,14, 268-275

Light-assisted direct-write of 3D functional biomaterials

K. C. Hribar, P. Soman, J. Warner, P. Chung and S. Chen, Lab Chip, 2014, 14, 268 DOI: 10.1039/C3LC50634G

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