Blue light cured 3D living catalysts
We wish to form polymeric bioreactors with interconnected microfluidic channels between walls or struts that have cells embedded or attached to the surface. A Rapid Prototyping (RP) fabrication technique is employed, using blue light curing to crosslink water-soluble monomers to hydrogels. The 3D writing is carried out by a computer-controlled syringe system that extrudes a fine line of monomer. The requirements for the building formulation are that it be highly viscous or thixotropic in order to hold its shape during curing, that the curing reaction be rapid and that the reagents be biocompatible and not kill the cells during processing. Initial results are reported on blue-light cured water-soluble acrylates with fumed silica as a thixotropic agent that form millimeter scale ldquolog pilesrdquo and ldquomultilevel car parksrdquo with embedded yeast.