•  Discovery Hybrid Rheometer 20 (TA Instruments, Waters, USA) (https://www.tainstruments.com/hr-20/) is a powerful material testing machine that can be used for various rheological applications. The HR20 can also be configured for linear Dynamic Mechanical Analysis. The equipment in our lab has multiple parallel-plate configurations, a cone-and-plate configuration, the ability to use a solvent trap to prevent material evaporation, and the ability to use an Environmental Test Chamber that can test material between -160°C and 600°C.

 

  • Biomaker (SUNP BIOTECH) (https://sunpbiotech.com/index.php/bioprinters/biomaker/) is a device that fabricates scaffolds by laying down or printing threads or fibers of bioinks in a layer-by-layer fashion. The Biomaker has features of screw-driven printing, modular design of printing heads, multi-printing, high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration, and ultraviolet (UV) sterilization integrated in one machine. (Awarded by CFI).

 

  • BioScaffold Printer (BS 3.2, BeSIM, Germany) (https://gesim-bioinstruments-microfluidics.com/bioprinter/) is a tool to build three dimensional (3D) tissue scaffolds based upon the 3D printing technique, with features of multi-printing, coaxial printing, and melt electrospinning writing integrated in one machine. With multiple cartridges/dispensers in one common stage, different materials/cells can be printed without exchanging cartridges; featuring a core/shell dispenser, two materials/cells can be printed in a co-axial manner; and by melt electrospinning writing, fibers with diameters as small as 10 μm can be printed. (Awarded by NSERC)

 

  • 3D BioPlotter (envisionTEC, Germany) (https://envisiontec.com/3d-printers/3d-bioplotter/) is another tool to build 3D tissue scaffolds based upon the 3D printing technique. The key features of this Bioplotter are its capacity to integrate living cells into the bio-printing process and its high motion resolution (1 µm). (Awarded by CFI)

 

  • Freeze Dry System (http://www.labconco.com/_Scripts/editc20.asp?catid=1; Labconco) is a lyophilization tool that can freeze material solutions, then reduce surrounding pressure and add heat to allow the frozen solvents (such as water) in the material to sublime from the solid phase to gas. This system is necessary for several steps in the scaffold fabrication process, including (1) scaffold fabrication (in some cases), (2) preparation of hydrogels and microspheres as scaffold components, and (3) storage of tissue scaffolds in a way that retains the activity of growth promoting molecules. (Awarded by CFI)

 

  • Clean Bench (https://www.envirco-hvac.com/products/index.aspx?prod=CleanBench_ESM, Envirco) is a work bench or similar enclosure that has its own supply of HEPA-filtered air. This Bench is able to provide a sterile environment for preparing biomaterial solutions and cell cultures in scaffold fabrication as well as other related activities. (Awarded by CFI)

 

  • Piezo Actuators and Their Controllers (P-753 and P-558, https://www.physikinstrumente.com/en/, Physik Instrumente (PI), Germany) have the capacity to produce motion with sub-nanometre accuracy, and constitutes an invaluable part of our laboratory infrastructure to carry out research in the areas of nano-positioning and nano-manipulation. Their features includes (1) the PI P753 actuator can be operated either horizontally or vertically, which is essential for our research; (2) the PI P753 and P-558 actuators have the comprehensive performance most appropriate to our research in terms of resolution, load capacity, and resonant frequency; and (3) the integration of parallel structure, capacitive sensors, and flexure guidance in the PI P753 and P-558 actuators provide us with compact structure, accurate motion generated, and frictionless guidance. (Awarded by NSERC)

 

  • Miniature Double Plane Mirror Interferometer (SP 2000-D, SIOS, http://www.sios.de/ENGLISCH/PRODUKTE/SP_D_E.PDF) is a tool for simultaneous linear and angular displacement measurements. It is an integrated system of an interferometer, a device for temperature compensation, a device for pressure compensation, an adjusting tilting device for sensor head, and INFAS control software and a laptop computer for data acquisition and analysis. This Interferometer possesses key features  (1) simultaneously make non-contact linear and angular displacement measurements, (2) measure linear displacement of a range of 2000 mm with a resolution of 1 nm, and (3) measure angular displacement of a range of ±2 arcmin with a resolution of 0.01 arcsec.  (Awarded by NSERC)

 

  • Test Instrument (BioDynamicTM, Bose) is for the characterization of biomaterials, native tissues, and tissue scaffolds in a biological environment. This instrument consists of a loading cell, a test chamber, transducers for force and displacement measurements, and computer software for data acquisition. This instrument possesses key features (1) precisely load specimens with very low forces (up to 20 N) and (2) provide a variety of biological conditions, as desired, in the test chamber, which is a powerful tool for the simulation of in vivo biological environments. (Awarded by NSERC)

 

  • Precision Fluid Dispensing System (https://www.nordson.com/en/divisions/asymtek, Asymtek, USA) is a system that can dispense fluid in a controlled manner by employing different dispensing approaches including time-pressure, rotary screw, and positive-displacement. This System features the PC-based controller, capability of dispensing fluid by means of different valves and pumps, accurate X-Y-Z positioning system with a repeatability of ±025 mm, full temperature control of fluid delivery, and configurable for single- and dual-valve fluid dispensing. This system can be used in scaffold fabrication and/or electronics packaging. (Awarded by CFI)

 

  • Profile-Measurement System (CyberScan Vantage 50, https://www.cybertechnologies.com/en/products/vantage-50/, Cyber Technologies, Germany) is a laser-based non-contact inspection system for measuring the object profiles. The sensor used in this system integrates a laser emitter and a laser receiver. As the sensor is controlled to move over the object being measured, the system collects a series of height measurements with a resolution of 1 mm, and then creates a profile of the object. The System is able to measure the profile of fluid/bioink formed on targets/printing stages. (Awarded by CFI)

 

  • Microbalance (CP-2P microbalance, https://www.sartorius.com/en, Sartorius AG, Germany) is used to measure the weight. The key features of this microbalance include a poly-range weighing capacity of 0.5/1/2 g with the corresponding repeatability of 0.001/0.002/0.003 mg, respectively. (Awarded by CFI)

 

  • Rheometer (RVDV-III+Ultra-CPE41 Brookfield Engineering Labs, Inc, https://www.brookfieldengineering.com/) is a device to measure and characterize fluid (such as bioink) rheological behaviour (or the relationship between the shear rate and the shear stress in the fluid) as well as its dependence on temperature and/or time. This device consists of a cone/plate viscometer, a temperature controller, a host PC computer, and software. It allows the use of minute sample volumes (down to 0.5 ml) with a viscosity in the range of 100 cP ~ 100,000 cP. (Awarded by NSERC)

 

If you see any opportunities to make use of the above lab facilities and related expertise, please contact Dr. Daniel Chen at xbc719@mail.usask.ca