PLGA Printing

Wikis > PLGA Printing
IMG_1408 - Copy2Figure 1: PLGA lattice (left), cylinder (middle) and line (right) structures printed with the BioBot 1.

Overview

Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid), or PLGA, is a common thermoplastic used in hard tissue engineering[1,2].

Storage and Handling

PLGA should be stored at – 20ºC in an airtight container.

You Will Need

Instructions for Use

*If printing with cell-laden matrix bioinks, all steps must be completed in a sterile environment. Be sure to sterilize PLGA overnight prior to use with cells.
  1. If using with cells, first sterilize PLGA.
  2.  Measure the desired amount of PLGA for printing and load into metal syringe.
  3.  Cap the metal syringe with a metal needle.
  4. Load syringe into the first extruder in the BioBots printer. Connect to your BioBots printer through your computer.
  5. Set the heat for the first extruder to suggested print temperature and allow time for PLGA to melt.
  6. Optional: To help with adhesion of the material, painter’s tape is suggested as a printing surface.

File Preparation: String Printing

PLGA can create what is referred to as a stringing effect in 3D printing. While often considered undesirable, this effect can be manipulated to achieve a finer resolution with this material. To utilize this feature, custom gcode must be written to create specific designs.  Please refer to this protocol for more information.

Print Settings

Slic3r Settings
Print Method Speed (mm/s) Layer height (mm) Nozzle Diam (mm)   Gauge (mm)

Traditional

1.0 0.26 0.50 25(0.43)

Traditional

1.0 0.20 0.15 30(0.15)

String

10 0.20 0.10 23 (0.56)

Print Settings
Print Method Gauge (mm) Pressure (psi)  Crosslink (sec) Print Temp (°C)

Traditional

25(0.43) 90 0 95

Traditional

30(0.15) 100 0 95

String

23(0.56) 90 0 75

Try it out!

Try a practice print by following the instructions for Your First Bioprint using the print parameters and loading instructions for PLGA.

To test the string printing method, try out this example star shaped gcode file.

Notes

  1. Print speed, nozzle diameter and pressure may all be adjusted to better fit a user’s needs. For help adjusting print parameters please contact info@biobots.io.
  2. A fill volume change of more than 2 ml may affect pressure settings.
  3. A lower gauge size or tapered gauge will require lower pressure, while a higher gauge will require higher pressure for extrusion. Lowering the gauge size will also generally lower resolution

Further Information

References

[1]
Pati, Falguni et al, “Ornamenting 3D Printed Scaffolds with Cell-laid Extracellular Matrix for Bone Tissue Regeneration Biomaterials, 2015(37), pp. 230 – 241.
[2]