3DTech’s task in the RESTORE project is to develop its Brinter® 3D bioprinting platform towards more accurate and efficient bioprinting of nanoenabled cartilage microtissues for repairing of chondral lesions. In this scope, 3DTech has just started the printability tests of the nanocellulose/alginate bioink produced by the RESTORE partner, University of Gothenburg. Although the optimization of the final composition of the bioink is still under development, the first bioprinting experiments with Brinter® platform using a mechanically driven endless piston based print head, Visco Tool, were quite promising. Simple test patterns (grid, S-line, and tube) were printed using a needle with an inner diameter of 250 µm, and the printed line width and post-printing dimensional stability were evaluated.

Figure 1. The Visco Tool print head based on endless piston technology.

After printing, the structures were crosslinked with CaCl2 and rinsed with PBS. The printed test patterns reproduced the original CAD models quite accurately and maintained their shapes during the overnight incubation test. The estimated line width was approximately 350–400 µm when printing with a speed of 3 mm/s.

Figure 2. The image captures of the printed test patterns from a movie recorded during printing.

During the upcoming months, the Visco Tool’s ability to maintain post-printing cell viability will be evaluated by printing chondrocytes embedded in the nanocellulose/alginate ink.