Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair/Advisor

M. Aaron Vaughn, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Melinda Harman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeremy Mercuri, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ken Webb, Ph.D.


In the past decade, the healthcare industry has seen a significant increase in the use of additive manufacturing (AM or “3D printing”) with subsequent improvement in clinical outcomes.As an exceptional AM technology, vat-photopolymerization (VP), often called stereolithography, can create complex structures and has thus been adopted for a range of biomedical applications including surgical guides, temporary implants, and resorbable tissue scaffolds.However, limitations remain in the availability of photopolymerizable resin materials with appropriate mechanical performance, biodegradability, and biocompatibility for application to resorbable medical devices.

The objective of this work was to employ novel photopolymerizable polyester-based macromers in the development of resorbable resin formulations and VP processes by characterizing the impact of material and process parameters on the material properties, biodegradability, and biocompatibility of printed components. Through systematic screening of resin components, the studies described here evaluated ranges of photoinitiator, reactive diluent, resorbable microparticulate, and naturally derived dye for use in novel resins. Results described here support the use of such additives for the modification of resin viscosity, photo-reactivity, and mechanical properties while maintaining the cytocompatibility of crosslinked resin. Subsequently, select resin formulations were applied to a commercial VP printer to study the effects of process parameters including temperature, exposure time, print orientation, and post-curing time. These studies provided a framework for understanding the effects of VP parameters on the accuracy, shrinkage, gel fraction, mechanical properties, and cytocompatibility of printed articles toward the development of specific print recipes. Finally, established print recipes were assessed for their applicability to complex geometries, characterized for their in vitro degradation profiles, and evaluated for the in vivo tissue response to their printed articles. The results of these studies support the use of established print recipes in the VP-printing of resorbable and biocompatible components for biomedical applications.

Together, this body of work provided a range of customizable resin compositions and process variables applied to a commercial VP printer to print articles exhibiting various tunable material characteristics. Ultimately, articles created with print recipes established through this work showed appropriate photopolymerization, a range of mechanical properties, in vitro cytocompatibility, in vitro degradation, and in vivo biocompatibility.

Author ORCID Identifier


Available for download on Friday, May 31, 2024

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