Process monitoring and control strategies in extrusion-based bioprinting to fabricate spatially graded structures

Ashley A. Armstrong, Arielle Pfeil, Andrew G. Alleyne, Amy J. Wagoner Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Extrusion-based bioprinting is the most common printing technology used in regenerative medicine. Despite recent technological advances, a pressing challenge for extrusion printing is low spatial resolution, which limits the functionality of printed constructs. One of the reasons for the low spatial resolution is a lack of process monitoring and control strategies to monitor fabrication and correct for print errors. Few research efforts implement process control and investigate the relationship between extrusion process parameters and printing fidelity. The lack of understanding between process parameters and print results ultimately limits the complexity of the possible structures. For example, fabrication of structures whose topologies vary spatially within the part is not possible without advanced process control. Here we enable fabrication of advanced spatially graded structures by implementing process monitoring and control strategies. We develop material models to better understand the relationship between process parameters and printing outcomes. We also present an experimental procedure to generate a process map that provides insight into the regions of the processing space that produce the desired extrusion features (e.g., width of the filament). After generation of a process map and material models, we implement a process monitoring and control strategy that measures the feature error and intelligently updates the process control inputs to reduce defects and improve spatial fidelity, which will lead to better functionality of the final construct.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00126
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Extrusion-based bioprinting
  • Printing accuracy
  • Process development
  • Process monitoring
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Scaffolds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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