Freeform beam shaping optics for large-size 3D scaffold fabrication with high accuracy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper


Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting approaches that enable large-scale constructs and high-resolution simultaneously are
very attractive to tissue engineering applications and health industries. However, both characteristics hardly meet at
reasonable printing times in current 3D bioprinting technologies, affecting the introduction of 3D scaffolds in medical
applications. To overcome this limitation, we recently introduced a vat photopolymerization (VP)-based bioprinting
method named light sheet stereolithography (LS-SLA) and demonstrated the fabrication of centimeter-scale scaffolds with
micrometer-scale features (> 13 μm) by using off-the-shelf optical compounds. The high performance in LS-SLA results
from using a rectangular uniform beam instead of a rotational symmetric laser beam, which generates light sheets with
large length-to-width aspect ratios on the vat film. Beam shaping optics are components used to perform the beam
transformation, and guarantee the accuracy, uniformity, and size of the 3D constructs. This work proposes freeform optics
to perform the laser beam shaping in the LS-SLA device and describes the progress of our investigations from design to
proof-of-concept-demonstrating. The results show that rectangular beams are readily produced by freeform optics resulting
in compact and energy efficient systems, and that further considerations on the real laser output are necessary to deliver
high beam uniformities. Tackling the design challenges of this work leads to energy efficient and high accuracy LS-SLA
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptical Methods for Inspection, Characterization, and Imaging of Biomaterials VI
EditorsPietro Ferraro, Demetri Psaltis, Simonetta Grilli
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781510664531
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2023
EventSPIE Optical Metrology 2023 - Munich, Germany
Duration: 26 Jun 202329 Jun 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceSPIE Optical Metrology 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- Vlaanderen (FWO) for supporting their research (G044516N) and the EU for funding within the Horizon 2020 Program, under the FET-OPEN Project "SensApp", Grant Agreement n.829104. This research was also supported by the Methusalem and Hercules foundations and the OZR of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Y. Nie acknowledges FWO for her post-doctoral fellowship (1252722N).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 SPIE.


  • Tissue engineering, 3D Printing, Bioprinting, Scaffold, Biocompatible, Light sheet


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