3D Bioprinting at Berkeley
We are a team of undergraduate students coming from an array of different disciplines such as Bioengineering, Molecular and Cell Biology, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and more. “Bioprinting Adherent Regenerative Tissue” (BART) is a student-led project that combines the field of engineering and biology. Its main goal is to 3D print functional living tissue by contributing knowledge to the field of tissue engineering in the hopes of patients getting organ transplants faster.
Funds are needed to purchase reagents for culturing cells and synthesizing hydrogels as structural support for the cells, and developing mechanical parts for a custom-designed bioprinter. BART provides students the opportunity to develop cutting-edge bioengineering technology while collaborating with and learning from peers across different fields. The overall goal of BART is to print functional tissue constructs, specifically muscle tissue and tendon. Will you help us by making a gift today?
Our project is divided into two teams: the Bioscience Team and the Engineering Team.
With limited resources, the Engineering Team has been able to inexpensively and efficiently modify a regular 3D printer (Hictop Prusa i3) to become a 3D bioprinter, tailoring it specifically to bioprinting needs. However, they now plan to design and implement a dual-extrusion head for this makeshift, modular printer. Since we’re trying to make this technology more accessible, we also intend on investing in a club membership at Jacobs Hall, where we can utilize their 3D printer to create a versatile extrusion head. Jacobs Hall also has their own online store, so with a membership, we can acquire our materials for a cheaper cost at a more convenient location.
The Bioscience Team will be experimenting with new formulations for hydrogel synthesis. For this project, club members will be utilizing a common cell line: either C1C12 (mouse muscle cells) or NIH 3T3 (mouse fibroblast cells). A group of students will cultivate the cells, incorporate them into a polymer scaffolding, bioprint the mixture in various geometries, and culture these bioprints to allow them to develop into constructs more closely resembling tissue. They will then quantify the properties of these constructs and the embedded cells with various tests that reflect cell viability. The main goal is to determine which specific hydrogel formulation will increase cell longevity and function while maintaining structural integrity.
We thank you for taking the time to read our project and hope you can contribute in any way you can. Although we are undergraduate students, we believe we can make an impact and change lives through teamwork and passion for technology and medicine. Please make a gift today!