Bioprinting is the process of depositing living cells in a specific 3D structure to take on the functionality of a specific kind of tissue or organ. The process requires a scaffold or mold to take on the shape of the organ or tissue, and then an inkjet printing process deposits cells in a specific, highly precise configuration on that scaffold. Precision on the order of microns is critical to ensuring the correct order and position of cells on the resulting tissue.
Printing organic structures has opened new frontiers in medical research. Printing 3D cell structures provides a better model for studying interactions between cells and growth factors or chemical agents as opposed to traditional 2D cell cultures grown in a dish.
Additionally, printing bone scaffolds helps cells heal in severe fractures. Here, pore size of the scaffold is critical to allow cells the ideal environment to grow. Typical pore sizes are hundreds of microns in diameter and require micron-level precision to construct, a core competency of Aerotech motion systems.