Biopolymer microthread scaffolds are used in tissue engineering, but the current production method is inefficient and inconsistent. The project goal was to design and build an automated production system that allows for post-production modifications. The final device included a motorized bi-directional extrusion system, heated outer bath, angled inner extrusion bath, removable anchor system, hopper fill system, and aspirator drain system. Diameter and mechanical tests were used to compare hand-drawn threads to those extruded at three different machine speeds. Statistical analyses confirmed that the fastest speed produced the most consistent, thinnest, strongest threads. Therefore, this device could vastly improve the quality of microthread production and save the client time and effort.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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