Bioprinting for Bone Regeneration at the Idea-2-Product Lab

The Idea-2-Product 3D Printing lab is the place CSU students can go to 3D print virtually anything they want. Some students use the lab for personal or class projects while others use it for research projects. Nathan Waanders (CBE/SBME undergrad) and Nelson Isaacson (MS&E grad) are using one of the lab’s bioprinters in their research. 

Figure 1: complex objects 3D printed using hydroxyapatite; CAD Models on left, 3D printed parts on right

Bioprinting essentially means that material is 3D printed to replicate or regenerate viable human tissue in some way. Nathan and Nelson’s research is focused on producing objects called “scaffolds” that they hope will one day serve as an implantable environment for bone to grow. This would be particularly helpful when significant bone loss occurs, like in cancer or trauma. The scaffolds are 3D printed from a thick, paste-like material that’s based on a material called hydroxyapatite, which is the main mineral component of human bone. They came to the Idea-2-Product lab last Spring because they needed to use the bioprinter and get some initial help. Now they’re working on their own.

Figure 2: 3D printed scaffolds for bone regeneration

CSU’s I2P lab is a place where everyone can make their ideas a reality. Whether students use the Idea-2-Product lab for class projects or research, there is a lot of technology to choose from and helpful staff to support you. It’s run by students for students. All you need is an idea!