A variety of new microfabrication methods are available now for creating rapid prototypes and new systems, and Vienna University of Technology researchers explain new research in ‘Characterization of four functional biocompatible pressure-sensitive adhesives for rapid prototyping of cell-based lab-on-a-chip and organ-on-a-chip systems.’

The goal of the research study was to cut down on both time and cost in creating lab-on-a-chip technology. In studying micro-structuring of pressure-sensitive adhesives, the authors learned that design flexibility, fast prototyping, and easy assembly were all benefits but with one drawback: most adhesives created today are toxic and would not allow for cell sustainability in bioprinting.

The researchers sought out cells and organ-on-a-chip concepts that could be created in both 2D and 3D, along with those that would offer biocompatible materials; after all, in the end, when it comes to bioprinting, the focus is on sustaining cell life. Even with a range of advantages offered for bioprinting and creating microchannel networks, the researchers state that lab-on-a-chip technology is still expensive to produce and prototyping and producing final designs can take years—often because so many iterations are required due to the complexities of working with living cells.

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