Upcoming lecture on 4D Biofabrication

A lecture on 4D Biofabrication will be presented by Mg. Chem Indra Apsīte (University of Bayreuth, Professorship of Biofabrication, Germany) at UL ISSP on the 16th of October.

We utilize biologically inspired strategies to develop new functional and active 3D (bio-)materials based on actuating polymers for soft robotics, smart textiles, soft electronics, energy storage materials, and tissue engineering as well as for a variety of other scientific and industrial applications. Particular focus is processing of stimuli-responsive, shape memory polymers and hydrogels. To process various polymers we use fused filament printing, extrusion printing of hydrogels, ink-jet printing, electrospinning, meltelectrowring as well as stereolithography. Our particular focus is 4D biofabrication, which is a fabrication of cellular structures by shape-transformation of 3D objects. We pioneered the fabrication of 4D biofabrication using most important biodegradable polymers, which are widely used in tissue engineering, such as gelatin, alginate and hyaluronic acid. 

Fig. 1. Fabrication of self-folding hydrogel-based (cell-laden) tubes via 4D bioprinting: a) printing of mathacrylated alginate or hyaluronic acid solutions; b) crosslinking of the printed films with green light (530 nm) and mild drying; c) instant folding into tubes upon immersion of the crosslinked films in water, PBS, or cell culture media; d) examples of the fabricated self-folding tubes (from right to left): schematic illustrations and representative microscope images of single tubes with/without printed cells formed through the described 4D printing process; photograph of a glass vial containing a large number of self-folded tubes, indicating on the possibility of their large-scale fabrication.

This project of the Baltic-German University Liaison Office is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic Germany.