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Reliable inkjet printing of chondrocytes and MSCs using reservoir agitation

Lookup NU author(s): Joseph Dudman, Dr Ana Ferreira-DuarteORCiD, Dr Piergiorgio GentileORCiD, Dr Xiao WangORCiD, Dr Matthew Benning, Professor Kenneth Dalgarno



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Drop-on-demand (DoD) inkjet printing has been explored for a range of applications, including those to selectively deposit cellular material, due to the high accuracy and scalability of such systems when compared with alternative bioprinting techniques. Despite this, there remains considerable limitations when handling cell suspensions due to the agglomeration and sedimentation of cells during printing, leading to a deterioration in jetting performance. The objective of this work was to design and assess the effectiveness of a custom agitation system to maintain cellular dispersion within the ink reservoir during printing. The cell printing performance of an inkjet printer was assessed with and without the use of a custom agitation system, with biological characterisation performed to characterise the impact of the agitator on cellular viability and function. Cell printing performance was retained over a 2-hour printing period when incorporating an agitated reservoir, with a gradual reduction in performance observed under a non-agitated configuration. Cell assays indicated that the agitation process did not significantly affect the viability, metabolic activity or morphology of the mesenchymal stromal cell or chondrocyte cell types. This study therefore provides a new methodology to increase process reliability within DoD printing platforms when jetting cellularised material.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dudman J, Ferreira AM, Gentile P, Wang XN, Ribeiro R, Benning M, Dalgarno K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biofabrication

Year: 2020

Volume: 12

Issue: 4

Print publication date: 01/10/2020

Online publication date: 12/08/2020

Acceptance date: 06/07/2020

Date deposited: 06/07/2020

ISSN (print): 1758-5082

ISSN (electronic): 1758-5090

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1088/1758-5090/aba2f8


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Funder referenceFunder name
Arthritis Research UK Award 21156