The requested instrumentation is an advanced 3D printing system for biological applications that overcomes much of the length-scale limitations of traditional additive manufacturing printing devices. The instrumentation utilizes two tandem technologies of direct molecular printing and ultraviolet light energy transfer to develop bioengineered devices that are uniform, highly controllable and have resolution and length-scales in the nanometer to micrometer-range. The instrumentation is designed to produce controllable, molecular arrays to investigate receptor-ligand, protein-protein, or enzyme-inhibitor interactions with specific applications to: 1) tissue engineering, 2) cell-based studies that influence cellular differentiation and function, 3) drug discovery and 4) microbiology. The primary goal of the instrumentation is to fabricate novel bioengineered devices that consist of arrays of peptides, glycoproteins or oligonucleotides; precisely defined microfluidic channels; and chemically or geometrically tailored biofunctional chips to advance the research domains listed above that cover VA-funded research at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS). Additionally, the 3D nano-printing system may be accessed by investigators at the academic affiliate, the University of Arizona, and other collaborators throughout the region, which will expand the impact of the instrumentation and enhance research collaborations, specifically between the two nearby medical centers and generally throughout the southwestern region.
The 3D nano-printing system will develop novel bioengineered devices with defined geometries and patterns of bio-functional agents that will impact research in tissue engineering, cellular biology, drug discovery and microbiology. Together, these research domains will impact Veterans health care by identifying new therapeutic medications or developing new cell-based treatments for renal failure, liver dysfunction, heart disease, pulmonary fibrosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and Clostridium Difficile.