National Univerisity of Singapore,
Keywords: gradient coating, E-jetting, E-spray
Summary:In this invention, a hybrid process which combined electrohydrodynamic jet printing (E-jet) and electrospraying (E-spray) was successfully applied to fabricate scaffolds with functionally gradient structure to bio-mimic the tendon-bone interface, which connects and gradually changes from soft tissue to hard tissue. E-jetting technique is applied to generate nano-/micro-scale bio-polymeric fibers, and E-spray is applied to generate nano-scale particles for coating using a bio-ceramic material. In this invention, these two techniques are combined together with a specially designed setup to achieve fabrication of composite gradient coating. This E-jetting and E-spray dual-nozzle setup is incorporated in the 3D desktop printing platform to continuously create customized functional gradient coatings. Also, the dual-nozzle setup is flexible enough to work independently for either bio-polymer coating or bio-ceramic coating with diverse structure and porosity.