Bioprinting the Unprintable with Unjammed Powder Printing

Claire Robertson | 21-LW-009

Project Overview

To overcome well-known material limitations with bioprinting, we sought to establish whether powdered biomaterials could be structured by vibration-assisted powder deposition. In this printing approach, a column of dry granulated material is externally vibrated to induce flow then translated to form complex 3D prints.

Specifically, we compared the powder flowability of dry gelatin powder to powder properties, orifice, and vibrational frequency and found a complex jamming response between orifice and vibrational frequency. Optimizing on these relationships, we were able to generate complex 2D and 3D prints out of dry materials.

Mission Impact

This work establishes new bioprinting techniques with unique flexibility in materials and timing, a major advance for LLNL's core competencies in additive manufacturing and bioscience. Increasing the range of biomaterials for bioprinting benefits ongoing work in several disciplines.