On the second Friday (2nd of October) there was a discussion on the research we had read and the upcoming plans and scope of the project. Furthermore other core experts of the project were introduced.
Some conclusions: To what extent should our scaffold be similair real ear cartillage? Answer: We assume this can be a simplified scaffold, however it should be tested by printing the scaffolds and letting the cells generate new cartillage wich takes approximately 2 months. Only the cartilage should be mimicked. The perichondrium and skin are other layers. Other parts, like cells will grow from the bioink of the bioprinter.
Ideas – With the research as background, we generated several ideas to edit the original STL Ear cartillage file. Can we for example make a negative which is simpler to edit or can we use a 2D image of the pattern and extrude that later? The next steps are to test different approaches on their feasibillity. We concluded that a formula to find an average pattern would be convienent.
After gaining enough knowledge about (ear) cartilage, 3D and bio printing techniques we could finalize our project proposal. See the objectives and approach, taken from the proposal, below:
- Find the general pattern of ear cartilage
- Recreating matrix/lattice of ear cartilage in simplified form while taking into account cell environment requirements, 3D & bio-printer constraints and strength of the lattice concerning possible future trauma to the ear.
- Final goals: Create a standard model of the ear cartilage lattice and put it in a (helix) shell of the ear, so bio-ink can be printed in between the lattice in future project developments.
- Using Rhino, GOM, 3-matic and/or other available software to simplify the model & create a new model to print with.
- Use Mathlab or/and other pattern recognition software to find a general pattern in the Ear-cartilage STL files ( files available at VUmc 3Dlab Amsterdam, obtained by scanning ears with CT-technology and transferred by experts to STL files).
- Testing (multiple/ different) scaffolds on strength with Finite Element techniques in 3D modelling software (for example GOM, 3-matic and/or Solidworks).
- Doing research about anatomy of ear cartilage and trying to find requirements for the natural environment to stimulate cells to grow new cartilage.
- Using 3Dprinters to print tests of our simplified scaffold and combine them with cells (done by VUmc).
So in the upcoming weeks…we will search for and use a programs that can find general patterns in STL files or images. For that we will contact experts at the TU Delft. In the 3D/Cad-programs we will try out different commands to make the model more simple/ to find a general pattern/to try finite elements on the initial STL file. Furthermore to set-up a list of requirements that our model has to meet we will look at the manual of the VUmc Bio-printer and we have to select a 3D-printer. The bio-printer for example is very complex and can only be used by an expert.
A part of our project takes place at the VUmc which enables us to use more advanced computers and enables us to discuss and cooperate with the experts of the 3D innovation lab.