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Evaluating 3D-printed bioseparation structures using multi-length scale tomography

Johnson, Thomas F; Conti, Mariachiara; Iacoviello, Francesco; Bracewell, Daniel; Shearing, Paul R; Pullen, James; Dimartino, Simone; (2023) Evaluating 3D-printed bioseparation structures using multi-length scale tomography. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 10.1007/s00216-023-04866-6. (In press). Green open access

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X-ray computed tomography was applied in imaging 3D-printed gyroids used for bioseparation in order to visualize and characterize structures from the entire geometry down to individual nanopores. Methacrylate prints were fabricated with feature sizes of 500 µm, 300 µm, and 200 µm, with the material phase exhibiting a porous substructure in all cases. Two X-ray scanners achieved pixel sizes from 5 µm to 16 nm to produce digital representations of samples across multiple length scales as the basis for geometric analysis and flow simulation. At the gyroid scale, imaged samples were visually compared to the original computed-aided designs to analyze printing fidelity across all feature sizes. An individual 500 µm feature, part of the overall gyroid structure, was compared and overlaid between design and imaged volumes, identifying individual printed layers. Internal subvolumes of all feature sizes were segmented into material and void phases for permeable flow analysis. Small pieces of 3D-printed material were optimized for nanotomographic imaging at a pixel size of 63 nm, with all three gyroid samples exhibiting similar geometric characteristics when measured. An average porosity of 45% was obtained that was within the expected design range, and a tortuosity factor of 2.52 was measured. Applying a voidage network map enabled the size, location, and connectivity of pores to be identified, obtaining an average pore size of 793 nm. Using Avizo XLAB at a bulk diffusivity of 7.00 × 10⁻¹¹ m2s⁻¹ resulted in a simulated material diffusivity of 2.17 × 10⁻¹¹ m²s⁻¹ ± 0.16 × 10⁻¹¹ m2s⁻¹.

Type: Article
Title: Evaluating 3D-printed bioseparation structures using multi-length scale tomography
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00216-023-04866-6
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-023-04866-6
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: X-ray imaging, 3D printing, Gyroid, Flow Simulation, Tortuosity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Biochemical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10174380
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