ISS biofabrication facility improved via 3D ceramics

• 3D printed ceramic fluid manifolds are enabling advancements in bioprinting at the International Space Station • Ceramic materials provided better biocompatibility than printed polymers resulting in larger viable structures • The additive manufactured ceramics have been in service since November 2019

A spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) for the 3D BioFabrication Facility (BFF). Besides human cells and bioinks for BFF, also being tested during this mission are new components of Techshot’s tissue conditioning system that were manufactured by Lithoz America, LLC.

Specializing in additive manufacturing systems for advanced ceramics, the Troy, New York company partnered with Techshot to develop ceramic fluid manifolds used inside bioreactors, which provide nutrients to living materials printed in space by BFF. The Lithoz ceramic manifolds are being tested aboard the ISS for their biocompatibility, precision, durability and overall fluid flow properties. The ceramic manifolds were printed using lithography-based ceramic manufacturing (LCM) on a high-resolution CeraFab printer.

Next steps will focus on the optimized integration of these components and longer culturing of the printed biological materials.

Conditioned human tissues from this mission are expected to return to Earth in early 2020 for evaluation.

Lithoz® is a full-service provider of high-performance and bioresorbable ceramics produced by the patented LCM technology and offers the application and material development to its customers in cooperation with renowned research institutes all over the world. Lithoz is ISO 9001-2015 certified.