Publication Date

Spring 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical, Chemical & Materials Engineering


Folarin Erogbogbo


3D Printing, bio-scaffolding, Direct Ink Write, Pluronic, Tissue Engineering, UV Curable Ink

Subject Areas

Materials Science; Polymer chemistry; Chemistry


Three-dimensional printing (3DP) emerged from simple beginnings in the field of additive manufacturing (AM) over 31 years ago as an economical technique for rapid prototyping. Now 3DP has become the premier method for fabricating materials from unique consumer products to lifesaving customized human organs. Current challenges in bioprinting center around balancing material properties such as stiffness, yield strength, and surface chemistry with non-Newtonian fluid flow to construct interconnected, porous scaffolding geometries that simulate the complex vasculature found in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the human body needed to promote cell growth and regeneration. In this study, several copolymers of poly(ethlyene oxide) and poly(propylene oxide) with a triblock structure were characterized using oscillatory shear measurements and thermogravimetric instruments to investigate the relationship between storage and loss moduli (G' and G") and printing behavior. The relationship between complex viscosity (η*), yield stress (τy), and fluid flow through a syringe yields some indirect correlations that depend on testing procedure. The overall relationship was more complex than originally understood. In the end, several self-supporting complex geometries were successfully printed using a photocurable formulations waxy (Pluronic P85, Jeffamine ED 2003) and liquid (Pluronic L121) triblock copolymers.