Process Modeling and Cell Damage Evaluation in Laser-Assisted Living Cell Direct Writing

Date(s) - 09/09/2013
4:00 pm

Yong Huang, Ph.D., Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Maskless jet-based (including laser- and inkjet-based) cell direct writing is a revolutionary advance for printing arbitrary cell patterns as well as for creating heterogeneous three-dimensional living constructs. Most importantly, cell direct writing provides a promising solution to current organ donor shortages by patterning different cells to mimic the cellular organization of native organs, resulting in what is known as organ printing. Unfortunately, process-induced thermomechanical damage to cells as well as other biomaterials during direct writing still poses a significant challenge to ensuring a satisfactory post-transfer cell viability. As previous studies show, process-induced thermomechanical loading can dramatically increase the cell mortality rate if direct-write conditions are not properly selected.

Using a representative laser-assisted cell direct-write technology (modified laser-induced forward transfer) as a model system, we have been addressing the aforementioned direct writing-induced cell damage challenge by studying 1) the process-induced cell thermomechanical loading profiles during the cell droplet formation and landing processes, two key processes in cell direct writing; and 2) the post-transfer cell viability based on the process-induced thermomechanical loading profiles. Living cells are modeled as a special workpiece material with unique material properties. In this talk, modeling of the laser-induced cell droplet formation process and resultant cell mechanical loading is first introduced. Then modeling of the cell droplet landing process and resultant cell mechanical loading is discussed. Finally, the relationship between the post-transfer cell damage/viability and the mechanical loading information is captured through an apoptosis signaling pathway-based modeling approach. It is expected that a complete understanding of process-induced biomaterial damage will significantly promote safe implementation of jet-based direct writing for various biomedical applications including organ printing.

Dr. Huang’s website: Center for Manufacturing Innovation