, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 139-147

Biological Laser Printing: A Novel Technique for Creating Heterogeneous 3-dimensional Cell Patterns

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Abstract

We have developed a laser-based printing technique, called biological laser printing (BioLP™). BioLP is a non-contact, orifice-free technique that rapidly deposits fL to nL scale volumes of biological material with spatial accuracy better than 5 μm. The printer's orifice-free nature allows for transfer of a wide range of biological material onto a variety of substrates. Control of transfer is performed via a computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) system which allows for deposition rates up to 100 pixels of biological material per second using the current laser systems. In this article, we present a description of the apparatus, a model of the transfer process, and a comparison to other biological printing techniques. Further, examples of current system capabilities, such as adjacent deposition of multiple cell types, large-scale cell arrays, and preliminary experiments on creating multi-layer cell constructs are presented. These cell printing experiments not only demonstrate near 100% viability, they also are the first steps toward using BioLP to create heterogeneous 3-dimensional constructs for use in tissue engineering applications.