The field of tissue engineering (TE) is continuously improving through the use of additive manufacturing techniques (AM) such as three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting. The 3D bioprinter has significantly gained attention in the TE field because it is more efficient than regenerative medicine and is readily available as opposed to organ transplants. Working like a conventional 3D printer, the 3D bioprinter is able to dispense material layer by layer from the bottom up with the printing head able to move in the X, Y, and Z direction. This movement allows for the fabrication of structures with complex geometries. In this study, the shape fidelity of additively manufactured specimens was explored in order to define consistent results for extrusion-based bioprinting techniques. Parallel to the importance of this emerging technology, the development of bioinks also demands for active research. While many bioink research efforts line up with the development and creation of printable inks for extrusion-based bioprinting, bioink printability is largely ignored and still needs to be carefully examined to enable improvement in fabrication. This thesis describes a reproducible method for the assessment of the printability of bioinks, focusing first on the creation of the bioink followed by the analysis of the 3D printed structures. Material selection is a critical component of efficient 3D bioprinting because of the requirements needing to be fulfilled to adhere to suitable bioink formulation. To address the importance of bioprinting, inspecting deformations of the deposited filament, reviewing its printability and evaluating the printing parameters will contribute to the assessment of shape fidelity. By characterizing the combination of material and printing parameters, it is hypothesized that this approach may evolve into a true assessment of bioprintability.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Wu, Dazhong


Coathup, Melanie


Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date