Integration of Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing technologies into a Tissue Engineering lab course
Supported by an Innovation Across the Curriculum grant from the Dean of Engineering in 2012, we are working over the next 2 years to incorporate low cost, open source 3D printers and software into the Tissue Engineering lab course. There are multiple reasons to do this spanning from classroom teaching to hands-on laboratory demonstrations and experiments.
Key Educational Objectives:
- Build 3D anatomical models for hands-on classroom demonstration of normal/healthy tissues that need repair. Example, bone defects.
- Use polylactic acid (PLA) 3D printers in the laboratory as a hands on demonstration of how 3D printers work, teaching the entire workflow from CAD to printed scaffold.
- Build PLA scaffolds with varying degrees of porosity to demonstrate how structure affects biodegradation rates.
- Develop lab module where students design a scaffold in CAD, print the scaffold, determine how to sterilize it, seed with cells and evaluate the cellular response.
- Provide the 3D printer as resource for student-designed tissue engineering experiments.