PLGA Bioprinting

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Overview

Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid), or PLGA, is a common thermoplastic used in hard tissue engineering [1]. The recommended preparation provided in the user instruction below is a good starting point for bioprinting PLGA.

Storage and Handling

For long term storage, PLGA should be kept at -20ºC in an airtight container.

You Will Need

Instructions for Use

*If printing with cell-laden matrix bioinks, all steps must be completed in a sterile environment. Be sure to sterilize PLGA overnight prior to use with cells.

  1. If using with cells, first sterilize PLGA.
  2. Measure the desired amount of PLGA for printing and load into metal syringe.
  3. Cap the metal syringe with a metal needle.
  4. Load syringe into the first extruder in the Allevi printer. Connect to your Allevi printer through your computer.
  5. Set the heat for the first extruder to suggested print temperature and allow time for PLGA to melt.
  6. Optional: To help with adhesion of the material, painter’s tape is suggested as a printing surface.

Print Settings

Speed (mm/s) Layer Height (mm) Nozzle Diam (mm) Gauge Pressure (PSI) Print Temp (°C)
1.00.20.1530 Metal Tapered10095
Fig 1: PLGA lattice (left), cylinder (middle), and line (right) structures printed with the Allevi 2.

Try a practice print by following the instructions for Your First Bioprint using the print parameters and loading instructions for PLGA.

Notes

  1. Print speed, nozzle diameter and pressure may all be adjusted to better fit a user’s needs. For help adjusting print parameters please contact [email protected].
  2. A fill volume change of more than 2 ml may affect pressure settings.
  3. A lower gauge size or tapered gauge will require lower pressure, while a higher gauge will require higher pressure for extrusion. Lowering the gauge size will also generally lower resolution.

References

[1] Pati, Falguni et al, “Ornamenting 3D Printed Scaffolds with Cell-laid Extracellular Matrix for Bone Tissue Regeneration” Biomaterials, 2015(37), pp. 230 – 241.

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