As a promising 3D bioprinting process, laser induced forward transfer (LIFT) has attracted attention in the last decade due to its advantages of non-contact, nozzle-free, high dropping rate and high resolution. However, the mechanism of bubble/jet formation under laser inducement has not been well comprehended yet. To better understand the multiphase process, the bubble formation and jet process under single laser pulse was explored in this study, using both the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model and experimental study. The results showed that under a laser pulse with the Gaussian distribution, a vapor bubble was formed around 0.1μs, then the bubble was expanded over time. During the bubble expansion process, the maximum magnitude of velocity could reach as high as 22m/s. The pressure near the laser interaction area was around 4.72 × 107 Pa, which is 470 times of the ambient pressure. After increasing the pulse energy and focal spot area, the liquid bubble layer moved downward to complete the bioink transfer process after the collapse of glycerol vapor bubble, which showed similar flow characteristics as the experimental results under the same laser fluence (1.4J/cm2). When the laser fluence was decreased to 0.8 J/cm2, a regular jet flow could be observed. The proposed multiphase numerical model can be used to understand the mechanism of bubble/jet formation under laser inducement and provide some insights into the bioink transfer during LIFT process, in order to eventually optimize the LIFT 3D-printing process with greater cell viability.

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