Delivery of human fibroblast cells by piezoelectric drop-on-demand inkjet printing

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    A piezoelectric actuated, drop-on-demand inkjet printing system has been used to deliver suspensions of human fibroblast cells from a well-characterized cell line (HT 1080) in order to investigate the behaviour of cells exposed to the mechanical and fluid stresses associated with the printing process. By varying the amplitude and rise time of the electrical pulse used to excite the piezoelectric actuator, it is possible to alter the stresses experienced by the cells. It is shown that the amplitude of the pulse has a small influence on cell survivability with regression analysis showing cell survival rates falling from 98% with a 40 V pulse (indistinguishable from control measurements) to approximately 94% with a 80 V pulse. The rise time of the pulse was found to have no influence on cell survival. Cell viability post-printing was also assessed using the Alamar Blue metabolic assay and the cells that survived were unaffected by the printing process, with neither pulse amplitude nor rise time showing any significant influence on cell viability (using the standard 5% probability threshold). However, inkjet printing requires cell suspensions to be stable over several minutes during the printing process and it was found that after about 20 min printing, some cell agglomeration or sedimentation affected the printing performance. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)193-203
    Number of pages10
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


    • Cell viability
    • Fibroblast
    • Inkjet printing
    • Rapid prototyping
    • Scaffold


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