Haley Butler: Master of Science in Sustainable Design Engineering Thesis Defense

Event Date:
Monday, October 26, 2020, 1:30 pm

Master of Science in Sustainable Design Engineering Thesis Defense: Haley Butler

Monday, October 26, 2020
Web conference

We are pleased to announce the upcoming Master of Science in Sustainable Design Engineering (MSc-SDE) Thesis Defense of Haley Butler

Title:  Development of Natural Bio-inks for Neural Cell Bioprinting Applications


Tissue engineering has played an exceptionally important role in addressing the increasing need for suitable tissue and organ replacements over the past few decades. Successful engineering of tissues that physiologically mimic their native counterparts relies on design and fabrication of temporary templates known colloquially as scaffolds. Among many scaffold engineering techniques, three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is commonly used due to its ease of use and high speed of fabrication. The material used for printing is a bio-ink, which to be successful must be both “biocompatible” and “printable”.

It has been proven that all-natural bio-inks have high biocompatibility and reduced toxicity during degradation. Chitosan, starch, and agarose have all been used either on their own or as a blend with other natural and synthetic polymers to create high performance bio-inks. The binary mixture of chitosan-starch and N,O-Carboxymethyl Chitosan (NOCC)-agarose have not been investigated for bioprinting applications of neurons. The objectives of this thesis are:

1. Investigate the suitability of starch and chitosan blends for cell seeding bioprinting applications;

2. Investigate the suitability of NOCC and agarose (ex. AG20NC80 = 20% agarose and 80% NOCC) blends for cell embedding bioprinting applications.

For objective 1, it was observed that, although increasing the potato starch content contributes to better printability of the bio-ink, more chitosan must be added to achieve higher biocompatibility. Therefore, a compromise in printability and biocompatibility must be made when starch and chitosan blends are used for scaffold fabrication.

For objective 2, it was observed that while increasing the agarose concentration leads to a decrease in the rheological and printability properties of the bio-inks, it leads to an increase in cell viability. Therefore, when mixtures of agarose and NOCC are used, a balanced mixture of AG40NC60 is a suitable bio-ink in terms of biocompatibility as well as printability.


The presentation and examination will be presented via a web conference. Please RSVP to Lisa Sanderson (lmsanderson@upei.ca) for the information to connect if you wish to attend, by Friday, October 23, at 10:00 am.   


Contact Name
Lisa Sanderson