Biocompatibility of Photopolymers in 3D Printing

Frank Alifui-Segbaya, Sony Varma, Graham J. Lieschke, Roy George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The biocompatibility of photopolymers in additive manufacturing (AM) often referred to as 3D printing (3DP) is an issue of concern due to, among other things, the unique parameters of the manufacturing process, which can influence the physical, chemical, and biological properties of AM-produced devices. The quality of AM-produced devices may consequently vary when identical parts are built using different 3D printers or even when the same 3D printer, parameters, process steps, and materials are used. In this novel study, representative materials built with stereolithography and material jetting processes were subjected to biological evaluation using the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) fish embryo test designed to determine acute toxicity of chemicals on embryonic stages of fish. The study demonstrates that the AM materials are toxic in zebrafish assays; however, the adverse effects of toxicity in some materials were reduced significantly after treatment with ethanol. Within the limitations of the study, it is evident that material composition and cleaning method are significant parameters by which the biological risks of photopolymers in 3DP can be assessed. Furthermore, the zebrafish biocompatibility assay is a reliable assessment tool for quantifying the toxicity of leachates in AM materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
Journal3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • 3D printing
  • additive manufacturing
  • biocompatibility
  • photopolymer
  • toxicity

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