Bioprinting facilitates the generation of complex, three-dimensional (3D), cell-based constructs for a variety of applications. Although multiple bioprinting technologies have been developed, extrusion-based systems have become the dominant technology due to the diversity of substrate materials (i.e. bioinks) that can be accommodated, either individually or in combination. Each bioink has unique material properties and extrusion characteristics that limit bioprinting precision, particularly when generating identically shaped constructs from different bioinks. Here, we aimed to achieve high precision (i.e. repeatability) across samples by generating bioink-specific printing parameters using a systematic approach. We hypothesized that a Fuzzy system could be used as a soft computing method to tackle the inherent vagueness and imprecision in 3D bioprinting data and uncover the optimal printing parameters for a specific bioink that would result in high precision. Our Fuzzy model was used to approximate and quantify the precision and ease of printability for two common bioinks - type I collagen and Pluronic F127, with or without dilution in αMEM culture media. The model consisted of three inputs (pressure, speed, and bioink dilution percentage) and a single output (line width). Using this system, we introduce the Bioink Precision Index (BPI), a metric that can be used to quantify and compare the precision of any bioink regardless of bioprinting technique and environmental parameters. To validate BPI, we demonstrate a significant increase (+54%) in line width variation between parameter sets with high (16.6) and low (7.5) BPI. Finally, we estimate that printing with parameters optimized using BPI would increase the line width precision for collagen (+15%) and Pluronic F127 (+29%) as compared to the manufacturer's recommended printing parameters.
Recommended CitationSedigh, Ashkan; DiPiero, Dayna; Shine, Kristy M.; and Tomlinson, Ryan E., "Enhancing precision in bioprinting utilizing fuzzy systems" (2022). Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Faculty Papers. Paper 167.
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