Edward Zhao was awarded a WFU Undergraduate Research Fellowship to work with Dr. Burg and WFIRM this summer.
Description of Edward’s project:
3D Bioprinting of Human Organs
Current 3D printing technology has advanced quickly in recent years, enabling people to print 3D models of non-living objects. More recently, researchers in the biomedicine have also begun to use this technology to print human organs and tissues with devices called “3D Bioprinters.” Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) is internationally one of the leading research institutions in this field. Using biodegradable gel and actual human cells as ink, they have been able to print cell structures layer-by-layer.
Having recently had the opportunity to visit Dr. James Yoo at WFIRM with my mentor, Dr. Jennifer Burg, I was able to get a better understanding of the problems these researchers are tackling as they work to enhance the precision and reliability of the bioprinters. They are now looking for a software solution to simplify and also solidify the conversion process from medical imaging to 3D printing pathways. Because the pathway for each layer and each printing thread impacts the 3D structure’s stability, a main focus is the development of computer algorithms to generate the best pathways.