3D Bioplotter Research Papers

Displaying all papers about Soft Tissue Regeneration (74 results)

Functional reconstruction of injured corpus cavernosa using 3D-printed hydrogel scaffolds seeded with HIF-1α-expressing stem cells

Nature Communications 2020 Volume 11, Article 2687

Injury of corpus cavernosa results in erectile dysfunction, but its treatment has been very difficult. Here we construct heparin-coated 3D-printed hydrogel scaffolds seeded with hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α)-mutated muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs) to develop bioengineered vascularized corpora. HIF-1α-mutated MDSCs significantly secrete various angiogenic factors in MDSCs regardless of hypoxia or normoxia. The biodegradable scaffolds, along with MDSCs, are implanted into corpus cavernosa defects in a rabbit model to show good histocompatibility with no immunological rejection, support vascularized tissue ingrowth, and promote neovascularisation to repair the defects. Evaluation of morphology, intracavernosal pressure, elasticity and shrinkage of repaired cavernous tissue prove that…

Bioprinting and in vitro characterization of alginate dialdehyde–gelatin hydrogel bio-ink

Bio-Design and Manufacturing 2020 Volume 3, Pages 48–59

Cell-laden cardiac patches have recently been emerging to renew cellular sources for myocardial infarction (MI, commonly know as a heart attack) repair. However, the fabrication of cell-laden patches with porous structure remains challenging due to the limitations of currently available hydrogels and existing processing techniques. The present study utilized a bioprinting technique to fabricate hydrogel patches and characterize them in terms of printability, mechanical and biological properties. Cell-laden hydrogel (or bio-ink) was formulated from alginate dialdehyde (ADA) and gelatin (GEL) to improve the printability, degradability as well as bioactivity. Five groups of hydrogel compositions were designed to investigate the influence…

Three-dimensional printing of chemically crosslinked gelatin hydrogels for adipose tissue engineering

Biofabrication 2020 Volume 12, Number 2, Article 025001

Despite their outstanding potential and the success that has already been achieved with three-dimensional (3D) printed hydrogel scaffolds, there has been little investigation into their application in the regeneration of damaged or missing adipose tissue (AT). Due to their macroscopic shape, microarchitecture, extracellular matrix-mimicking structure, degradability and soft tissue biomimetic mechanical properties, 3D printed hydrogel scaffolds have great potential for use in aesthetic, structural and functional restoration of AT. Here, we propose a simple and cost-effective 3D printing strategy using gelatin-based ink to fabricate scaffolds suitable for AT engineering. The ink, successfully printed here for the first time, was prepared…

A multilayered valve leaflet promotes cell-laden collagen type I production and aortic valve hemodynamics

Biomaterials 2020 Volume 240, Article 119838

Patients with aortic heart valve disease are limited to valve replacements that lack the ability to grow and remodel. This presents a major challenge for pediatric patients who require a valve capable of somatic growth and at a smaller size. A patient-specific heart valve capable of growth and remodeling while maintaining proper valve function would address this major issue. Here, we recreate the native valve leaflet structure composed of poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) and cell-laden gelatin-methacrylate/poly (ethylene glycol) diacrylate (GelMA/PEGDA) hydrogels using 3D printing and molding, and then evaluate the ability of the multilayered scaffold to produce collagen matrix under physiological shear…

Experimental Investigation and Optimal 3D Bioprinting Parameters of SA-Gel Porous Cartilage Scaffold

Applied Sciences 2020 Volume 10, Article 768

The main aim of this paper is to achieve the suitable SA-GEL (sodium alginate and gelatin) porous cartilage scaffold by 3D printing technology with optimal prediction parameters. Firstly, the characteristics of SA-GEL were analyzed, the influence of calcium chloride on the gel was explored, and the optimal cross-linking concentration and gelation temperature were determined. Secondly, a prediction model of the extrusion line width of SA-GEL was established, in which the printing pressure, the moving speed of the needle and the fiber interval were the important parameters affecting the printing performance of the SA-GEL composite material. Thirdly, the SA-GEL composite scaffolds…

3D Printed Sugar‐Sensing Hydrogels

Macromolecular Rapid Communications 2020 Volume 41, Issue 9, Article 1900610

The ability of boronic acids (BAs) to reversibly bind diols, such as sugars, has been widely studied in recent years. In solution, through the incorporation of additional fluorophores, the BA–sugar interaction can be monitored by changes in fluorescence. Ultimately, a practical realization of this technology requires a transition from solution‐based methodologies. Herein, the first example of 3D‐printed sugar‐sensing hydrogels, achieved through the incorporation of a BA–fluorophore pair in a gelatin methacrylamide‐based matrix is presented. Through optimization of monomeric cocktails, it is possible to use extrusion printing to generate structured porous hydrogels which show a measurable and reproducible linear fluorescence response…

Highly Porous, Biocompatible Tough Hydrogels, Processable via Gel Fiber Spinning and 3D Gel Printing

Advanced Materials Interface 2020 Volume 7, Issue 3, Article 1901770

Conventional tough hydrogels offer enhanced mechanical properties and high toughness. Their application scope however is limited by their lack of processability. Here, a new porous tough hydrogel system is introduced which is processable via gel fiber spinning and 3D printing. The tough hydrogels are produced by rehydrating processable organogels developed by induced phase separation between two linear polymer chains capable of intermolecular hydrogen bonding. Through a slow sol–gel phase separation, highly porous gel networks made of hydrogen bonded polymer chains is formed. These organogels can be easily transformed to 3D printed multimaterial constructs or gel fibers, and after rehydration produce…

Chondroinductive Alginate-Based Hydrogels Having Graphene Oxide for 3D Printed Scaffold Fabrication

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2020 Volume 12, Issue 4, Pages 4343-4357

Scaffolds based on bioconjugated hydrogels are attractive for tissue engineering because they can partly mimic human tissue characteristics. For example, they can further increase their bioactivity with cells. However, most of the hydrogels present problems related to their processability, consequently limiting their use in 3D printing to produce tailor-made scaffolds. The goal of this work is to develop bioconjugated hydrogel nanocomposite inks for 3D printed scaffold fabrication through a micro-extrusion process having improved both biocompatibility and processability. The hydrogel is based on a photocrosslinkable alginate bioconjugated with both gelatin and chondroitin sulfate in order to mimic the cartilage extracellular matrix,…

Printability of 3D Printed Hydrogel Scaffolds: Influence of Hydrogel Composition and Printing Parameters

Applied Sciences 2020 Volume 10, Issue 1, Article 292

Extrusion-based bioprinting of hydrogel scaffolds is challenging due to printing-related issues, such as the lack of capability to precisely print or deposit hydrogels onto three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds as designed. Printability is an index to measure the difference between the designed and fabricated scaffold in the printing process, which, however, is still under-explored. While studies have been reported on printing hydrogel scaffolds from one or more hydrogels, there is limited knowledge on the printability of hydrogels and their printing processes. This paper presented our study on the printability of 3D printed hydrogel scaffolds, with a focus on identifying the influence of…

Void‐Free 3D Bioprinting for In Situ Endothelialization and Microfluidic Perfusion

Advanced Functional Materials 2020 Volume 30, Issue 1, Article 1908349

Two major challenges of 3D bioprinting are the retention of structural fidelity and efficient endothelialization for tissue vascularization. Both of these issues are addressed by introducing a versatile 3D bioprinting strategy, in which a templating bioink is deposited layer‐by‐layer alongside a matrix bioink to establish void‐free multimaterial structures. After crosslinking the matrix phase, the templating phase is sacrificed to create a well‐defined 3D network of interconnected tubular channels. This void‐free 3D printing (VF‐3DP) approach circumvents the traditional concerns of structural collapse, deformation, and oxygen inhibition, moreover, it can be readily used to print materials that are widely considered “unprintable.” By…

Mechanical and finite element evaluation of a bioprinted scaffold following recellularization in a rat subcutaneous model

Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 2020 Volume 102, 103519

Tissue engineered heart valves (TEHV) provide several advantages over currently available aortic heart valve replacements. Bioprinting provides a patient-specific means of developing a TEHV scaffold from imaging data, and the capability to embed the patient’s own cells within the scaffold. In this work we investigated the remodeling capacity of a collagen-based bio-ink by implanting bioprinted disks in a rat subcutaneous model for 2, 4 and 12 weeks and evaluating the mechanical response using biaxial testing and subsequent finite element (FE) modeling. Samples explanted after 2 and 4 weeks showed inferior mechanical properties compared to native tissues while 12 week explants…

Endothelial/Mesenchymal Stem Cell Crosstalk within Bioprinted Cocultures

Tissue Engineering: Part A 2019

The development of viable tissue surrogates requires a vascular network that sustains cell metabolism and tissue development. The coculture of endothelial cells (ECs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), the two key players involved in blood vessel formation, has been heralded in tissue engineering (TE) as one of the most promising approaches for scaffold vascularization. However, MSCs may exert both proangiogenic as well antiangiogenic role. Furthermore, it is unclear which cell type is responsible for the upregulation of angiogenic pathways observed in EC:MSC cocultures. There is disagreement on the proangiogenic action of MSCs, as they have also been shown to negatively…

Employing PEG crosslinkers to optimize cell viability in gel phase bioinks and tailor post printing mechanical properties

Acta Biomaterialia 2019 Volume 99, Pages 121-132

The field of 3D bioprinting has rapidly grown, yet the fundamental ability to manipulate material properties has been challenging with current bioink methods. Here, we change bioink properties using our PEG cross-linking (PEGX) bioink method with the objective of optimizing cell viability while retaining control of mechanical properties of the final bioprinted construct. First, we investigate cytocompatible, covalent cross-linking chemistries for bioink synthesis (e.g. Thiol Michael type addition and bioorthogonal inverse electron demand Diels-Alder reaction). We demonstrate these reactions are compatible with the bioink method, which results in high cell viability. The PEGX method is then exploited to optimize extruded…

An oxygen-releasing device to improve the survival of mesenchymal stem cells in tissue engineering

Biofabrication 2019 Volume 11, Number 4, Article 045012

Supplying oxygen to inner areas of cell constructs to support cell proliferation and metabolism is a major challenge in tissue engineering involving stem cells. Developing devices that incorporate oxygen release materials to increase the availability of the localized oxygen supply is therefore key to addressing this limitation. Herein, we designed and developed a 3D-printed oxygen-releasing device composed of an alginate hydrogel scaffold combined with an oxygen-generating biomaterial (calcium peroxide) to improve the oxygen supply of the microenvironment for culturing adipose tissue-derived stem cells. The results demonstrated that the 3D-printed oxygen-releasing device alleviated hypoxia, maintained oxygen availability, and ensured proliferation of…

Additive manufacturing and tissue engineering to improve outcomes in breast reconstructive surgery

Workshop on Metrology for Industry 4.0 and IoT (MetroInd4.0&IoT) 2019 Pages 38 - 42

Many women with early breast cancer undergo mastectomy as a consequence of an unfavorable tumor/breast ratio or because they prefer this option to breast conservation. As reported, breast reconstruction offers significant psychological advantages. Several techniques are currently available for the breast oncoplastic surgeon and offer interesting results in terms of aesthetic and patient-reported outcomes, using both breast implants and autologous tissues. On the other hand, advanced methodologies and technologies, such as reverse engineering and additive manufacturing, allow the development of customized porous scaffolds with tailored architectures, biological, mechanical and mass transport properties. Accordingly, the current research dealt with challenges, design…

In vivo remodeling of a 3D-Bioprinted tissue engineered heart valve scaffold

Bioprinting 2019 Volume 16, Article e00059

Objective To evaluate the recellularization potential of a bioprinted aortic heart valve scaffold printed with highly concentrated Type I collagen hydrogel (Lifeink® 200) and MSCs. Materials and methods A suspension of rat mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) was mixed with Lifeink® 200 and was 3D-printed into gelatin support gel to produce disk scaffolds which were subsequently implanted subcutaneously in Sprague-Dawley rats for 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks. The biomechanical properties of the scaffolds were evaluated by uniaxial tensile testing and cell infiltration and inflammation assessed via immunohistochemistry (IHC) and histological staining. Results There was an average decrease in both UTS…

Silk particles, microfibres and nanofibres: A comparative study of their functions in 3D printing hydrogel scaffolds

Materials Science and Engineering: C 2019 Volume 103, Article 109784

Silk, with highly crystalline structure and well-documented biocompatibility, is promising to be used as reinforcing material and build functionalized composite scaffolds. In the present study, we developed chitosan/silk composite scaffolds using silk particles, silk microfibres and nanofibres via 3D printing method. The three forms of silk fillers with varied shapes and dimensions were obtained via different processing methods and evaluated of their morphology, crystalline structure and thermal property. All silk fillers showed different degrees of improvement on printability in terms of ink rheology and printing shape fidelity. Different silk fillers led to different scaffold surface morphology and different roughness, while…

Printability and Cell Viability in Bioprinting Alginate Dialdehyde- Gelatin Scaffolds

ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 2019 Volume 5, Issue 6, Pages 2976-2987

Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is a promising technique used to fabricate scaffolds from hydrogels with living cells. However, the printability of hydrogels in bioprinting has not been adequately studied. The aim of this study was to quantitatively characterize the printability and cell viability of alginate dialdehyde (ADA)-gelatin (Gel) hydrogels for bioprinting. ADA-Gel hydrogels of various concentrations were synthesized and characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, along with rheological tests for measuring storage and loss moduli. Scaffolds (with an area of 11 × 11 mm) of 1, 2, and 13 layers were fabricated from ADA-Gel hydrogels using a 3D-bioplotter under printing conditions…

Quantitative ultrasound imaging of cell-laden hydrogels and printed constructs

Acta Biomaterialia 2019 Volume 91, Pages 173-185

In the present work we have revisited the application of quantitative ultrasound imaging (QUI) to cellular hydrogels, by using the reference phantom method (RPM) in combination with a local attenuation compensation algorithm. The investigated biological samples consisted of cell-laden collagen hydrogels with PC12 neural cells. These cell-laden hydrogels were used to calibrate the integrated backscattering coefficient (IBC) as a function of cell density, which was then used to generate parametric images of local cell density. The image resolution used for QUI and its impact on the relative IBC error was also investigated. Another important contribution of our work was the…

Indirect 3D bioprinting and characterization of alginate scaffolds for potential nerve tissue engineering applications

Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 2019 Volume 93, Pages 183-193

Low-concentration hydrogels have favorable properties for many cell functions in tissue engineering but are considerably limited from a scaffold fabrication point of view due to poor three-dimensional (3D) printability. Here, we developed an indirect-bioprinting process for alginate scaffolds and characterized the potential of these scaffolds for nerve tissue engineering applications. The indirect-bioprinting process involves (1) printing a sacrificial framework from gelatin, (2) impregnating the framework with low-concentration alginate, and (3) removing the gelatin framework by an incubation process, thus forming low-concentration alginate scaffolds. The scaffolds were characterized by compression testing, swelling, degradation, and morphological and biological assessment of incorporated or…

Bio-fabrication of peptide-modified alginate scaffolds: Printability, mechanical stability and neurite outgrowth assessments

Bioprinting 2019 Volume 14, Article e00045

Peripheral nerve tissue requires appropriate biochemical and physical cues to guide the regeneration process after injury. Bioprinted peptide-conjugated sodium alginate (PCSA) scaffolds have the potential to provide physical and biochemical cues simultaneously. Such scaffolds need characterisation in terms of printability, mechanical stability, and biological performance to refine and improve application in nerve tissue regeneration. In this study, it was hypothesized that 3D scaffold printed with low concentrated multiple PCSA precursor would be supportive for axon outgrowth. Therefore, a 2% (w/v) alginate precursor was conjugated with either arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD) or tyrosine-isoleucine-glycine-serine-arginine (YIGSR) peptides, or a mixture of RGD and YIGSR (1:2)…

3D-printable self-healing and mechanically reinforced hydrogels with host–guest non-covalent interactions integrated into covalently linked networks

Materials Horizons 2019 Volume 6, Pages 733-742

Natural polymer hydrogels are one of the best biomaterials for soft tissue repair because of their excellent biocompatibility, biodegradability and low immune rejection. However, they lack mechanical strength matching that of natural tissue and desired functionality (e.g., self-healing and 3D-printability). To solve these problems, we developed a host–guest supramolecule (HGSM) with three arms covalently crosslinked with a natural polymer to construct a novel hydrogel with non-covalent bonds integrated into a covalently crosslinked network. This unique structure enabled the hydrogel to exhibit improved mechanical properties and show both self-healing and 3D printing capabilities. The three-armed HGSM was first prepared via efficient…

Doping of Carbon Quantum Dots (CDs) in Calcium Phosphate Nanorods for Inducing Ectopic Chondrogenesis via Activation of the HIF-α/SOX‑9 Pathway

ACS Omega 2019 Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 374-386

Calcium phosphate (CaPs)-based nanostructures are mostly known to induce osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). However, in the current study, doping of carbon quantum dots into calcium phosphate nanorods (C-CaPs) has been observed to affect the differentiation pathway and enhanced the expression of chondrogenic genes instead of osteogenic ones. Here, we report a microwave-assisted single-step synthesis and doping of carbon dot into calcium phosphate nanorods and their ectopic chondrogenicity in a rodent subcutaneous model. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies show that the doping of carbon dots results in p-type semiconductor-like structure formation…

ZEB2, a master regulator of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, mediates trophoblast differentiation

MHR: Basic science of reproductive medicine 2018 Volume 25, Issue 2, Pages 61–75

STUDY QUESTION Does the upregulation of the zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 2 (ZEB2) transcription factor in human trophoblast cells lead to alterations in gene expression consistent with an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and a consequent increase in invasiveness? SUMMARY ANSWER Overexpression of ZEB2 results in an epithelial-mesenchymal shift in gene expression accompanied by a substantial increase in invasive capacity of human trophoblast cells.

Reversible physical crosslinking strategy with optimal temperature for 3D bioprinting of human chondrocyte-laden gelatin methacryloyl bioink

Journal of Biomaterials Applications 2018 Volume 33, Issue 5, Pages 609-618

Gelatin methacryloyl is a promising material in tissue engineering and has been widely studied in three-dimensional bioprinting. Although gelatin methacryloyl possesses excellent biocompatibility and tunable mechanical properties, its poor printability/processability has hindered its further applications. In this study, we report a reversible physical crosslinking strategy for precise deposition of human chondrocyte-laden gelatin methacryloyl bioink at low concentration without any sacrificial material by using extrusive three-dimensional bioprinting. The precise printing temperature was determined by the rheological properties of gelatin methacryloyl with temperature. Ten percent (w/v) gelatin methacryloyl was chosen as the printing formula due to highest biocompatibility in three-dimensional cell cultures…

Tough and Processable Hydrogels Based on Lignin and Hydrophilic Polyurethane

ACS Applied Bio Materials 2018 Volume 1, Issue 6, Pages 2073–2081

Lignin is a low-cost, natural polymer with abundant polar sites on its backbone that can be utilized for physical cross-linking of polymers. Here, we use lignin for additional cross-linking of hydrophilic polyether-based polyurethane (HPU) hydrogels, aiming to improve their mechanical properties and processability. Without reducing the swelling, simple addition of 2.5 wt % lignin increases the fracture energy and Young’s modulus of HPU hydrogels from, respectively, 1540 ± 40 to 2050 ± 50 J m–2 and 1.29 ± 0.06 to 2.62 ± 0.84 MPa. Lignin also increases the lap shear adhesiveness of hydrogels and induces an immediate load recovery of…

A Bioprinted Cardiac Patch Composed of Cardiac-Specific Extracellular Matrix and Progenitor Cells for Heart Repair

Advanced Healthcare Materials 2018 Volume 7, Issue 23, Article 1800672

Congenital heart defects are present in 8 of 1000 newborns and palliative surgical therapy has increased survival. Despite improved outcomes, many children develop reduced cardiac function and heart failure requiring transplantation. Human cardiac progenitor cell (hCPC) therapy has potential to repair the pediatric myocardium through release of reparative factors, but therapy suffers from limited hCPC retention and functionality. Decellularized cardiac extracellular matrix hydrogel (cECM) improves heart function in animals, and human trials are ongoing. In the present study, a 3D‐bioprinted patch containing cECM for delivery of pediatric hCPCs is developed. Cardiac patches are printed with bioinks composed of cECM, hCPCs,…

Tyrosinase-doped bioink for 3D bioprinting of living skin constructs

Biomedical Materials 2018 Volume 13, Number 3, Article Number 035008

Three-dimensional bioprinting is an emerging technology for fabricating living 3D constructs, and it has shown great promise in tissue engineering. Bioinks are scaffold materials mixed with cells used by 3D bioprinting to form a required cell-laden structure. In this paper, a novel bioink made of gelatin methacrylamide (GelMA) and collagen (Col) doped with tyrosinase (Ty) is presented for the 3D bioprinting of living skin tissues. Ty has the dual function of being an essential bioactive compound in the skin regeneration process and also as an enzyme to facilitate the crosslink of Col and GelMA. Further, enzyme crosslinking together with photocrosslinking…

Characterization of Cell Damage and Proliferative Ability during and after Bioprinting

ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 2018 Volume 4, Issue 11, Pages 3906–3918

When a biomaterial solution containing living cells is subject to bioprinting, the cells experience process-induced stresses, including shear and extensional stresses. These process-induced stresses breach cell membranes and can lead to cell damage, thus reducing cell viability and functioning within the printed constructs. Studies have been conducted to determine the influence of shear stress on cell damage; however, the effect of extensional stress has been typically ignored in the literature until the recently collected evidence of its importance. This paper presents a novel method to characterize and quantify the cell damage caused by both shear and extensional stresses in bioprinting….

3D Printing of Silk Particle-Reinforced Chitosan Hydrogel Structures and Their Properties

ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 2018 Volume 4, Issue 8, Pages 3036-3046

Hydrogel bioprinting is a major area of focus in the field of tissue engineering. However, 3D printed hydrogel scaffolds often suffer from low printing accuracy and poor mechanical properties because of their soft nature and tendency to shrink. This makes it challenging to process them into structural materials. In this study, natural chitosan hydrogel scaffolds were, for the first time, reinforced with milled silk particles and fabricated by 3D printing. Compared with pure chitosan scaffolds, the addition of silk particles resulted in up to a 5-fold increase in compressive modulus as well as significantly better printing accuracy and improved scaffold…

Mechanically robust cryogels with injectability and bioprinting supportability for adipose tissue engineering

Acta Biomaterialia 2018 Volume 74, Pages 131-142

Bioengineered adipose tissues have gained increased interest as a promising alternative to autologous tissue flaps and synthetic adipose fillers for soft tissue augmentation and defect reconstruction in clinic. Although many scaffolding materials and biofabrication methods have been investigated for adipose tissue engineering in the last decades, there are still challenges to recapitulate the appropriate adipose tissue microenvironment, maintain volume stability, and induce vascularization to achieve long-term function and integration. In the present research, we fabricated cryogels consisting of methacrylated gelatin, methacrylated hyaluronic acid, and 4arm poly(ethylene glycol) acrylate (PEG-4A) by using cryopolymerization. The cryogels were repeatedly injectable and stretchable, and…

3D bioprinting of scaffolds with living Schwann cells for potential nerve tissue engineering applications

Biofabrication 2018 Volume 10, Number 3, Article 035014

Three-dimensional bioprinting of biomaterials shows great potential for producing cell-encapsulated scaffolds to repair nerves after injury or disease. For this, preparation of biomaterials and bioprinting itself are critical to create scaffolds with both biological and mechanical properties appropriate for nerve regeneration, yet remain unachievable. This paper presents our study on bioprinting Schwann cell-encapsulated scaffolds using composite hydrogels of alginate, fibrin, hyaluronic acid, and/or RGD peptide, for nerve tissue engineering applications. For the preparation of composite hydrogels, suitable hydrogel combinations were identified and prepared by adjusting the concentration of fibrin based on the morphological spreading of Schwann cells. In bioprinting, the…

Engineering Human Neural Tissue by 3D Bioprinting

Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering 2018 Pages 129-138

Bioprinting provides an opportunity to produce three-dimensional (3D) tissues for biomedical research and translational drug discovery, toxicology, and tissue replacement. Here we describe a method for fabricating human neural tissue by 3D printing human neural stem cells with a bioink, and subsequent gelation of the bioink for cell encapsulation, support, and differentiation to functional neurons and supporting neuroglia. The bioink uniquely comprises the polysaccharides alginate, water-soluble carboxymethyl-chitosan, and agarose. Importantly, the method could be adapted to fabricate neural and nonneural tissues from other cell types, with the potential to be applied for both research and clinical product development.

3D Printing of Thermoresponsive Polyisocyanide (PIC) Hydrogels as Bioink and Fugitive Material for Tissue Engineering

Polymers 2018 Volume 10, Issue 5, Article 555

Despite the rapid and great developments in the field of 3D hydrogel printing, a major ongoing challenge is represented by the development of new processable materials that can be effectively used for bioink formulation. In this work, we present an approach to 3D deposit, a new class of fully-synthetic, biocompatible PolyIsoCyanide (PIC) hydrogels that exhibit a reverse gelation temperature close to physiological conditions (37 °C). Being fully-synthetic, PIC hydrogels are particularly attractive for tissue engineering, as their properties—such as hydrogel stiffness, polymer solubility, and gelation kinetics—can be precisely tailored according to process requirements. Here, for the first time, we demonstrate…

3D-printed thick structured gelatin membrane for engineering of heterogeneous tissues

Materials Letters 2018 Volume 217, Pages 39-43

Although biological membranes may look like a 2D assembly, they often have complex structures in their 3rd dimension. Using layer-by-layer assembly, 3D-printing can offer an advanced and unique approach for the fabrication of such models. However, printing of some widely used hydrogels, such as gelatin, encounters experimental difficulties due to their rheological properties. In this paper, we (a) discuss the complexities involved in printing gelatin, (b) offer a reproducible approach to overcome such difficulties, and (c) present the detailed design criteria and the production process of such 3D-printed gelatin membranes by exemplifying scaffolds suitable for growth of full-thickness oral mucosa…

A 3D bioprinted in situ conjugated‐co‐fabricated scaffold for potential bone tissue engineering applications

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research A 2018 Volume 106, Issue 5, Pages 1311-1321

There is a demand for progressive approaches in bone tissue engineering to repair and regenerate bone defects resulting from trauma or disease. This investigation sought to engineer a single‐step in situ conjugated polymeric scaffold employing 3D printing technology as an innovative fabricating tool. A polymeric scaffold was engineered in situ employing sodium alginate as a bio‐ink which interacted with a poly(ethyleneimine) solution on bioprinting to form a polyelectrolyte complex through ionic bond formation. Silica gel was included in the bio‐ink as temporal inorganic support component and for ultimate enhancement of osteoinduction. Characterization of the biorelevant properties of the scaffold was…

3D-printed gelatin scaffolds of differing pore geometry modulate hepatocyte function and gene expression

Acta Biomaterialia 2018 Volume 69, Pages 63-70

Three dimensional (3D) printing is highly amenable to the fabrication of tissue-engineered organs of a repetitive microstructure such as the liver. The creation of uniform and geometrically repetitive tissue scaffolds can also allow for the control over cellular aggregation and nutrient diffusion. However, the effect of differing geometries, while controlling for pore size, has yet to be investigated in the context of hepatocyte function. In this study, we show the ability to precisely control pore geometry of 3D-printed gelatin scaffolds. An undifferentiated hepatocyte cell line (HUH7) demonstrated high viability and proliferation when seeded on 3D-printed scaffolds of two different geometries….

Effects of tunable, 3D-bioprinted hydrogels on human brown adipocyte behavior and metabolic function

Acta Biomaterialia 2018 Volume 71, Pages 486-495

Obesity and its related health complications cause billions of dollars in healthcare costs annually in the United States, and there are yet to be safe and long-lasting anti-obesity approaches. Using brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a promising approach, as it uses fats for energy expenditure. However, the effect of the microenvironment on human thermogenic brown adipogenesis and how to generate clinically relevant sized and functioning BAT are still unknown. In our current study, we evaluated the effects of endothelial growth medium exposure on brown adipogenesis of human brown adipose progenitors (BAP). We found that pre-exposing BAP to angiogenic factors promoted…

Rheological, In Situ Printability and Cell Viability Analysis of Hydrogels for Muscle Tissue Regeneration

Proceedings of the 29th Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium – An Additive Manufacturing Conference 2018 Pages 835-846

Advancements in additive manufacturing have made it possible to fabricate biologically relevant architectures from a wide variety of materials. Hydrogels have garnered increased attention for the fabrication of muscle tissue engineering constructs due to their resemblance to living tissue and ability to function as cell carriers. However, there is a lack of systematic approaches to screen bioinks based on their inherent properties, such as rheology, printability and cell viability. Furthermore, this study takes the critical first-step for connecting in-process sensor data with construct quality by studying the influence of printing parameters. Alginate-chitosan hydrogels were synthesized and subjected to a systematic…

Evaluation of PBS Treatment and PEI Coating Effects on Surface Morphology and Cellular Response of 3D-Printed Alginate Scaffolds

Journal of Functional Biomaterials 2017 Volume 8, Issue 4, Article 48

Three-dimensional (3D) printing is an emerging technology for the fabrication of scaffolds to repair/replace damaged tissue/organs in tissue engineering. This paper presents our study on 3D printed alginate scaffolds treated with phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and polyethyleneimine (PEI) coating and their impacts on the surface morphology and cellular response of the printed scaffolds. In our study, sterile alginate was prepared by means of the freeze-drying method and then, used to prepare the hydrogel for 3D printing into calcium chloride, forming 3D scaffolds. Scaffolds were treated with PBS for a time period of two days and seven days, respectively, and PEI…

“Tissue Papers” from Organ-Specific Decellularized Extracellular Matrices

Advanced Functional Materials 2017 Volume 27, Article 1700992

Using an innovative, tissue-independent approach to decellularized tissue processing and biomaterial fabrication, the development of a series of “tissue papers” derived from native porcine tissues/organs (heart, kidney, liver, muscle), native bovine tissue/organ (ovary and uterus), and purified bovine Achilles tendon collagen as a control from decellularized extracellular matrix particle ink suspensions cast into molds is described. Each tissue paper type has distinct microstructural characteristics as well as physical and mechanical properties, is capable of absorbing up to 300% of its own weight in liquid, and remains mechanically robust (E = 1–18 MPa) when hydrated; permitting it to be cut, rolled,…

Bioprinting pattern-dependent electrical/mechanical behavior of cardiac alginate implants: characterization and ex-vivo phase-contrast microtomography assessment

Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods 2017 Volume 23, Issue 9, Pages 548-564

Three-dimensional (3D)-bioprinting techniques may be used to modulate electrical/mechanical properties and porosity of hydrogel constructs for fabrication of suitable cardiac implants. Notably, characterization of these properties after implantation remains a challenge, raising the need for the development of novel quantitative imaging techniques for monitoring hydrogel implant behavior in-situ. This study aims to (i) assess the influence of hydrogel bioprinting patterns on electrical/mechanical behavior of cardiac implants based on a 3D-printing technique and (ii) investigate the potential of synchrotron X-ray phase contrast computed tomography (PCI-CT) for estimating elastic modulus/impedance/porosity and microstructural features of 3D-printed cardiac implants in-situ via an ex-vivo study….

Potential of propagation-based synchrotron X-ray phase-contrast computed tomography for cardiac tissue engineering

Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 2017 Volume 24, Pages 842-853

Hydro­gel-based cardiac tissue engineering offers great promise for myocardial infarction repair. The ability to visualize engineered systems in vivo in animal models is desired to monitor the performance of cardiac constructs. However, due to the low density and weak X-ray attenuation of hydro­gels, conventional radiography and micro-computed tomography are unable to visualize the hydro­gel cardiac constructs upon their implantation, thus limiting their use in animal systems. This paper presents a study on the optimization of synchrotron X-ray propagation-based phase-contrast imaging computed tomography (PCI-CT) for three-dimensional (3D) visualization and assessment of the hydro­gel cardiac patches. First, alginate hydro­gel was 3D-printed into…

3D Bioprinting Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Constructs for In Situ Cell Proliferation and Successive Multilineage Differentiation

Advanced Healthcare Materials 2017 Volume 6, Issue 17, Article 1700175

The ability to create 3D tissues from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is poised to revolutionize stem cell research and regenerative medicine, including individualized, patient-specific stem cell-based treatments. There are, however, few examples of tissue engineering using iPSCs. Their culture and differentiation is predominantly planar for monolayer cell support or induction of self-organizing embryoids (EBs) and organoids. Bioprinting iPSCs with advanced biomaterials promises to augment efforts to develop 3D tissues, ideally comprising direct-write printing of cells for encapsulation, proliferation, and differentiation. Here, such a method, employing a clinically amenable polysaccharide-based bioink, is described as the first example of bioprinting human…

Integrated 3D printed scaffolds and electrical stimulation for enhancing primary human cardiomyocyte cultures

Bioprinting 2017 Volume 6, Pages 18-24

3D printing technology is driving innovation in a wide variety of disciplines, and is beginning to make inroads into the fields of medicine and biology. In particular, 3D printing is being increasingly utilized for the design and fabrication of three-dimensional cell culture scaffolds. This technology allows for scaffolds to be produced rapidly while maintaining a great deal of control over the matrix architecture. This paper presents an effective technique for rapidly designing and fabricating scaffolds from silicone rubber and polycaprolactone (PCL), appropriate for primary human cardiomyocyte cell cultures. Additionally, a stimulation device is developed and presented which can provide 6…

A bioprosthetic ovary created using 3D printed microporous scaffolds restores ovarian function in sterilized mice

Nature Communications 2017 Volume 88, Article number 15261

Emerging additive manufacturing techniques enable investigation of the effects of pore geometry on cell behavior and function. Here, we 3D print microporous hydrogel scaffolds to test how varying pore geometry, accomplished by manipulating the advancing angle between printed layers, affects the survival of ovarian follicles. 30° and 60° scaffolds provide corners that surround follicles on multiple sides while 90° scaffolds have an open porosity that limits follicle–scaffold interaction. As the amount of scaffold interaction increases, follicle spreading is limited and survival increases. Follicle-seeded scaffolds become highly vascularized and ovarian function is fully restored when implanted in surgically sterilized mice. Moreover,…

Reversible Programing of Soft Matter with Reconfigurable Mechanical Properties

Advanced Functional Materials 2017 Volume 27, Issue 13 Article 1605665

Biology uses various cross-linking mechanisms to tailor material properties, and this is inspiring technological efforts to couple independent cross-linking mechanisms to create hydrogels with complex mechanical properties. Here, it is reported that a hydrogel formed from a single polysaccharide can be triggered to reversibly switch cross-linking mechanisms and switch between elastic and viscoelastic properties. Specifically, the pH-responsive self-assembling aminopolysaccharide chitosan is used. Under acidic conditions, chitosan is polycationic and can be electrostatically cross-linked by sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) micelles to confer viscoelastic and self-healing properties. Under basic conditions, chitosan becomes neutral, the electrostatic SDS–chitosan interactions are no longer operative, and…

Pyrintegrin Induces Soft Tissue Formation by Transplanted or Endogenous Cells

Scientific Reports 2017 Issue 7, Article number: 36402

Focal adipose deficiency, such as lipoatrophy, lumpectomy or facial trauma, is a formidable challenge in reconstructive medicine, and yet scarcely investigated in experimental studies. Here, we report that Pyrintegrin (Ptn), a 2,4-disubstituted pyrimidine known to promote embryonic stem cells survival, is robustly adipogenic and induces postnatal adipose tissue formation in vivo of transplanted adipose stem/progenitor cells (ASCs) and recruited endogenous cells. In vitro, Ptn stimulated human adipose tissue derived ASCs to differentiate into lipid-laden adipocytes by upregulating peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPARγ) and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-α (C/EBPα), with differentiated cells increasingly secreting adiponectin, leptin, glycerol and total triglycerides. Ptn-primed human ASCs seeded…

3D-printing of dynamic self-healing cryogels with tuneable properties

Polymer Chemistry 2017 Volume 9, Pages 1684-1692

We report a novel synthetic and processing methodology for the preparation of doubly dynamic, self-healing, 3D-printable macroporous gels. 3D-printable oxime hydrogels were prepared by cross-linking poly(n-hydroxyethyl acrylamide-co-methyl vinyl ketone) (PHEAA-co-PMVK) with a bifunctional hydroxylamine. 3D-printed oxime hydrogels were subjected to post-printing treatment by thermally induced phase separation (TIPS), which facilitated the formation of hydrogen bonding and oxime cross-links, and dramatically increased the mechanical strength of soft oxime objects in a well-controlled manner by up to ∼1900%. The mechanical properties of the cryogels were tuned by freezing conditions, which affected the microstructure of the cryogels. These doubly dynamic 3D-printed cryogels are…

Development of a 3D Printed, Bioengineered Placenta Model to Evaluate the Role of Trophoblast Migration in Preeclampsia

ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering 2016 Volume 2, Issue 10, Pages 1817–1826

Preeclampsia (PE) is a leading cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Current research suggests that the impaired trophoblastic invasion of maternal spiral arteries contributes significantly to the development of PE. However, the pathobiology of PE remains poorly understood, and there is a lack of treatment options largely due to ineffective experimental models. Utilizing the capability of bioprinting and shear wave elastography, we developed a 3D, bioengineered placenta model (BPM) to study and quantify cell migration. Through BPM, we evaluated the effect of epidermal growth factor (EGF) on the migratory behavior of trophoblast and human mesenchymal stem cells. Our…

Exploring the Potential of Starch/Polycaprolactone Aligned Magnetic Responsive Scaffolds for Tendon Regeneration

Advanced Healthcare Materials 2016 Volume 5, Issue 2, pages 213–222

The application of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) in tissue engineering (TE) approaches opens several new research possibilities in this field, enabling a new generation of multifunctional constructs for tissue regeneration. This study describes the development of sophisticated magnetic polymer scaffolds with aligned structural features aimed at applications in tendon tissue engineering (TTE). Tissue engineering magnetic scaffolds are prepared by incorporating iron oxide MNPs into a 3D structure of aligned SPCL (starch and polycaprolactone) fibers fabricated by rapid prototyping (RP) technology. The 3D architecture, composition, and magnetic properties are characterized. Furthermore, the effect of an externally applied magnetic field is investigated on…

Functional 3D Neural Mini-Tissues from Printed Gel-Based Bioink and Human Neural Stem Cells

Advanced Healthcare Materials 2016 Volume 5, Issue 12, Pages 1429–1438

Direct-write printing of stem cells within biomaterials presents an opportunity to engineer tissue for in vitro modeling and regenerative medicine. Here, a first example of constructing neural tissue by printing human neural stem cells that are differentiated in situ to functional neurons and supporting neuroglia is reported. The supporting biomaterial incorporates a novel clinically relevant polysaccharide-based bioink comprising alginate, carboxymethyl-chitosan, and agarose. The printed bioink rapidly gels by stable cross-linking to form a porous 3D scaffold encapsulating stem cells for in situ expansion and differentiation. Differentiated neurons form synaptic contacts, establish networks, are spontaneously active, show a bicuculline-induced increased calcium…

Modular Small Diameter Vascular Grafts with Bioactive Functionalities

PloS One 2015 Volume 10, Issue 7, Article e0133632

We report the fabrication of a novel type of artificial small diameter blood vessels, termed biomimetic tissue-engineered blood vessels (bTEBV), with a modular composition. They are composed of a hydrogel scaffold consisting of two negatively charged natural polymers, alginate and a modified chitosan, N,O-carboxymethyl chitosan (N,O-CMC). Into this biologically inert scaffold two biofunctionally active biopolymers are embedded, inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) and silica, as well as gelatin which exposes the cell recognition signal, Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD). These materials can be hardened by exposure to Ca2+ through formation of Ca2+ bridges between the polyanions, alginate, N,O-CMC, and polyP (alginate-Ca2+-N,O-CMC-polyP). The bTEBV are formed…

Use of the polycation polyethyleneimine to improve the physical properties of alginate-hyaluronic acid hydrogel during fabrication of tissue repair scaffolds

Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition 2015 Volume 26, Issue 7, Pages 433-445

Recently alginate-based tissue repair scaffolds fabricated using 3D printing techniques have been extensively examined for use in tissue engineering applications. However, their physical and mechanical properties are unfavorable for many tissue engineering applications because these properties are poorly controlled during the fabrication process. Some improvement of alginate gel properties can be realized by addition of hyaluronic acid (HA), and this may also improve the ability of cells to interact with the gel. Here, we report improvement of the physical properties of alginate–HA gel scaffolds by the addition of the polycation polyethyleneimine (PEI) during the fabrication process in order to stabilize…

A Multimaterial Bioink Method for 3D Printing Tunable, Cell-Compatible Hydrogels

Advanced Materials 2015 Volume 27, Issue 9, Pages 1607–1614

A multimaterial bio-ink method using polyethylene glycol crosslinking is presented for expanding the biomaterial palette required for 3D bioprinting of more mimetic and customizable tissue and organ constructs. Lightly crosslinked, soft hydrogels are produced from precursor solutions of various materials and 3D printed. Rheological and biological characterizations are presented, and the promise of this new bio-ink synthesis strategy is discussed.

Dielectric spectroscopy for monitoring human pancreatic islet differentiation within cell-seeded scaffolds in a perfusion bioreactor system

Analyst 2015 Volume 140, Issue 18, Pages 6295-6305

The long-term in vitro culture and differentiation of human pancreatic islets is still hindered by the inability to emulate a suitable microenvironment mimicking physiological extracellular matrix (ECM) support and nutrient/oxygen perfusion. This is further amplified by the current lack of a non-invasive and rapid monitoring system to readily evaluate cellular processes. In this study, we realized a viable method for non-invasively monitoring isolated human pancreatic islets in vitro. Islets are induced to dedifferentiate into proliferative duct-like structures (DLS) in preparation for potential and subsequent re-differentiation into functional islet-like structures (ILS) in a process reminiscent of islet regeneration strategies. This long-term…

Bioplotting Alginate/Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel Scaffolds with Structural Integrity and Preserved Schwann Cell Viability

3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing 2014 Volume 1, Issue 4, Pages 194-203

Bioplotting is an emerging freeform scaffold fabrication technique useful for creating artificial tissue scaffolds containing living cells. Simultaneous maintenance of scaffold structural integrity and cell viability is a challenging task. In this article, we present strategies developed to bioplot alginate-based three-dimensional tissue scaffolds containing hyaluronic acid and living Schwann cells for potential use in peripheral nerve tissue engineering. The fabrication platform, upon which the scaffold is created, was coated with the polycation polyethylenimine to immobilize the first layer of the scaffold on the platform. Each layer was then dispensed into a bath containing calcium chloride to cross-link the alginate, polyvinyl…

Engineering a morphogenetically active hydrogel for bioprinting of bioartificial tissue derived from human osteoblast-like SaOS-2 cells

Biomaterials 2014 Volume 35, Issue 31, Pages 8810–8819

Sodium alginate hydrogel, stabilized with gelatin, is a suitable, biologically inert matrix that can be used for encapsulating and 3D bioprinting of bone-related SaOS-2 cells. However, the cells, embedded in this matrix, remain in a non-proliferating state. Here we show that addition of an overlay onto the bioprinted alginate/gelatine/SaOS-2 cell scaffold, consisting of agarose and the calcium salt of polyphosphate [polyP·Ca2+-complex], resulted in a marked increase in cell proliferation. In the presence of 100 μm polyP·Ca2+-complex, the cells proliferate with a generation time of approximately 47–55 h. In addition, the hardness of the alginate/gelatin hydrogel substantially increases in the presence…

Towards an in vitro model mimicking the foreign body response: tailoring the surface properties of biomaterials to modulate extracellular matrix

Scientific Reports 2014 Volume 4, Article number 6325

Despite various studies to minimize host reaction following a biomaterial implantation, an appealing strategy in regenerative medicine is to actively use such an immune response to trigger and control tissue regeneration. We have developed an in vitro model to modulate the host response by tuning biomaterials’ surface properties through surface modifications techniques as a new strategy for tissue regeneration applications. Results showed tunable surface topography, roughness, wettability, and chemistry by varying treatment type and exposure, allowing for the first time to correlate the effect of these surface properties on cell attachment, morphology, strength and proliferation, as well as proinflammatory (IL-1β,…

Printed ionic-covalent entanglement hydrogels from carrageenan and an epoxy amine

RSC Advances 2014 Volume 4, Issue 72, Pages 38088-38092

Carrageenan/epoxy amine ionic-covalent entanglement hydrogels were fabricated on a 3D printer. The thermal gel transition behaviour of the biopolymer kappa-carrageenan was exploited to fix the shape of the patterned ink until a covalent polymer network formed by epoxy amine addition chemistry. The printed hydrogels display a work of extension value of 1.4 ± 0.3 MJ m−3.

Three-Dimensional Printing Fiber Reinforced Hydrogel Composites

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2014 Volume 6, Issue 18, Pages 15998–16006

An additive manufacturing process that combines digital modeling and 3D printing was used to prepare fiber reinforced hydrogels in a single-step process. The composite materials were fabricated by selectively pattering a combination of alginate/acrylamide gel precursor solution and an epoxy based UV-curable adhesive (Emax 904 Gel-SC) with an extrusion printer. UV irradiation was used to cure the two inks into a single composite material. Spatial control of fiber distribution within the digital models allowed for the fabrication of a series of materials with a spectrum of swelling behavior and mechanical properties with physical characteristics ranging from soft and wet to…

The 3D printing of gelatin methacrylamide cell-laden tissue-engineered constructs with high cell viability

Biomaterials 2014 Volume 35, Issue 1, Pages 49–62

In the present study, we report on the combined efforts of material chemistry, engineering and biology as a systemic approach for the fabrication of high viability 3D printed macroporous gelatin methacrylamide constructs. First, we propose the use and optimization of VA-086 as a photo-initiator with enhanced biocompatibility compared to the conventional Irgacure 2959. Second, a parametric study on the printing of gelatins was performed in order to characterize and compare construct architectures. Hereby, the influence of the hydrogel building block concentration, the printing temperature, the printing pressure, the printing speed, and the cell density were analyzed in depth. As a…

Novel crosslinked alginate/hyaluronic acid hydrogels for nerve tissue engineering

Frontiers of Materials Science 2013 Volume 7, Issue 3, Pages 269-284

Artificial tissue engineering scaffolds can potentially provide support and guidance for the regrowth of severed axons following nerve injury. In this study, a hybrid biomaterial composed of alginate and hyaluronic acid (HA) was synthesized and characterized in terms of its suitability for covalent modification, biocompatibility for living Schwann cells and feasibility to construct three dimensional (3D) scaffolds. Carbodiimide mediated amide formation for the purpose of covalent crosslinking of the HA was carried out in the presence of calciumions that ionically crosslink alginate. Amide formation was found to be dependent on the concentrations of carbodiimide and calcium chloride. The double-crosslinked composite…

Three-Dimensional Printing of Soy Protein Scaffolds for Tissue Regeneration

Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods 2013 Volume 19, Issue 6, Pages 417-426

Fabricating three-dimensional (3D) porous scaffolds with controlled structure and geometry is crucial for tissue regeneration. To date, exploration in printing 3D natural protein scaffolds is limited. In this study, soy protein slurry was successfully printed using the 3D Bioplotter to form scaffolds. A method to verify the structural integrity of resulting scaffolds during printing was developed. This process involved measuring the mass extrusion flow rate of the slurry from the instrument, which was directly affected by the extrusion pressure and the soy protein slurry properties. The optimal mass flow rate for printing soy slurry at 27°C was 0.0072±0.0002 g/s. The addition…

Layered Gradient Nonwovens of In Situ Crosslinked Electrospun Collagenous Nanofibers Used as Modular Scaffold Systems for Soft Tissue Regeneration

Advanced Functional Materials 2013 Volume 23, Issue 26, Pages 3277-3285

In a versatile modular scaffold system, gradient nonwovens of in situ crosslinked gelatin nanofibers (CGN), fabricated by reactive electrospinning, are laminated with perforated layers and nonwovens of thermoplastic non-crosslinked biodegradable polyesters. The addition of glyoxal to a gelatin solution in a non-toxic solvent mixture consisting of acetic acid, ethyl acetate, and water (5:3:2 w/w/w) enables the in situ crosslinking of gelatin nanofibers during electrospinning. The use of this fluorine-free crosslinking system eliminates the need of post-treatment crosslinking and purification steps typical for conventional CGN scaffolds. The slowly progressing crosslinking of the dissolved gelatin in the presence of glyoxal increases the…

In vivo acute and humoral response to three-dimensional porous soy protein scaffolds

Acta Biomaterialia 2013 Volume 9, Issue 11, Pages 8983–8990

Increasing interest in using soy biomaterials for tissue engineering applications has prompted investigation into the in vivo biocompatibility of soy implants. In this study, the biocompatibility of soy protein scaffolds fabricated using freeze-drying and 3-D printing was assessed using a subcutaneous implant model in BALB/c mice. The main objectives of this study were: (1) to compare soy protein with bovine collagen, a well-characterized natural protein implant, by implanting scaffolds of the same protein weight, and (2) to observe the effects of soy scaffold microstructure and amount of protein loading, which also alters the degradation properties, on the acute and humoral…

Development of Schwann Cell-Encapsulated Alginate Scaffolds for the Repair of Peripheral Nerve Injury

CMBES Proceedings 35 2012

Nerve conduits for peripheral nerve repair have progressed from simple silicon tubes to complex engineered scaffolds. Recent advances in scaffold fabrication have enabled the incorporation of neurotrophins, extracellular matrix components and various cells into scaffolds for enhanced biologic properties. Bioplotting is one of the emerging methods, where the scaffold material, in form of a solution, is dispensed from a needle, layer by layer forming a three-dimensional structure. It enables the use of a wide range of materials, ranging from synthetic polymers (like polycaprolactone, polyglycolic acid, etc.) to naturally occurring polymers like alginate, chitosan, etc. Notably, the use of hydrogels gives…

Construction of 3D biological matrices using rapid prototyping technology

Rapid Prototyping Journal 2009 Volume 15, Issue 3, Pages 204 - 210

Purpose Hydrogels with low viscosities tend to be difficult to use in constructing tissue engineering (TE) scaffolds used to replace or restore damaged tissue, due to the length of time it takes for final gelation to take place resulting in the scaffolds collapsing due to their mechanical instability. However, recent advances in rapid prototyping have allowed for a new technology called bioplotting to be developed, which aims to circumvent these inherent problems. This paper aims to present details of the process. Design/methodology/approach The paper demonstrates how by using the bioplotting technique complex 3D geometrical scaffolds with accurate feature sizes and…

Evaluation of Photocrosslinked Lutrol Hydrogel for Tissue Printing Applications

Biomacromolecules 2009 Volume 10, Issue 7, Pages 1689-1696

Application of hydrogels in tissue engineering and innovative strategies such as organ printing, which is based on layered 3D deposition of cell-laden hydrogels, requires design of novel hydrogel matrices. Hydrogel demands for 3D printing include: 1) preservation of the printed shape after the deposition; 2) maintaining cell viability and cell function and 3) easy handling of the printed construct. In this study we analyze the applicability of a novel, photosensitive hydrogel (Lutrol) for printing of 3D structured bone grafts. We benefit from the fast temperature-responsive gelation ability of thermosensitive Lutrol-F127, ensuring organized 3D extrusion, and the additional stability provided by…

Formed 3D Bio-Scaffolds via Rapid Prototyping Technology

IFMBE Proceedings 2009 Volume 22, Pages 2200-2204

The construction of biomaterial scaffolds for cell seeding is now seen as the most common approach for producing artificial tissue as compared with cell self-assembly and Acellular matrix techniques. This paper describes the use of synthetic and natural polymeric material shaped into 3D biological matrices by using Rapid Prototyping (RP) technology. Recent advances in RP technology have greatly enhanced the range of biomaterials that can now be constructed into scaffolds, also allowing for maximized control of the pore size and architecture. Bioplotting is one such method which allows the dispensing of various biomaterials into a media bath which has similar…

Three-Dimensional Fiber Deposition of Cell-Laden, Viable, Patterned Constructs for Bone Tissue Printing

Tissue Engineering Part A 2008 Volume: 14 Issue 1, Pages 127-133

Organ or tissue printing, a novel approach in tissue engineering, creates layered, cell-laden hydrogel scaffolds with a defined three-dimensional (3D) structure and organized cell placement. In applying the concept of tissue printing for the development of vascularized bone grafts, the primary focus lies on combining endothelial progenitors and bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs). Here we characterize the applicability of 3D fiber deposition with a plotting device, Bioplotter, for the fabrication of spatially organized, cell-laden hydrogel constructs. The viability of printed BMSCs was studied in time, in several hydrogels, and extruded from different needle diameters. Our findings indicate that cells survive…

Fabrication of soft tissue engineering scaffolds by means of rapid prototyping techniques

Journal of Materials Science 2002 Volume 37, Issue 15, pp 3107-3116

Scaffolds are of great importance for tissue engineering because they enable the production of functional living implants out of cells obtained from cell culture. These scaffolds require individual external shape and well defined internal structure with interconnected porosity. The problem of the fabrication of prototypes from computer assisted design (CAD) data is well known in automotive industry. Rapid prototyping (RP) techniques are able to produce such parts. Some RP techniques exist for hard tissue implants. Soft tissue scaffolds need a hydrogel material. No biofunctional and cell compatible processing for hydrogels exists in the area of RP. Therefore, a new rapid…

Rapid prototyping of scaffolds derived from thermoreversible hydrogels and tailored for applications in tissue engineering

Biomaterials 2002 Volume 23, Issue 23, Pages 4437-4447

In the year 2000 a new rapid prototyping (RP) technology was developed at the Freiburg Materials Research Center to meet the demands for desktop fabrication of scaffolds useful in tissue engineering. A key feature of this RP technology is the three-dimensional (3D) dispensing of liquids and pastes in liquid media. In contrast to conventional RP systems, mainly focused on melt processing, the 3D dispensing RP process (3D plotting) can apply a much larger variety of synthetic as well as natural materials, including aqueous solutions and pastes, to fabricate scaffolds for application in tissue engineering. For the first time, hydrogel scaffolds…

3D Printing of Antimicrobial Alginate/Bacterial-Cellulose Composite Hydrogels by Incorporating Copper Nanostructures

ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 2019 Volume 5, Issue 11, Pages 6290-6299

Novel antimicrobial 3D-printed alginate/bacterial-cellulose hydrogels with in situ-synthesized copper nanostructures were developed having improved printability. Prior to 3D printing, two methods were tested for the development of the alginate hydrogels: (a) ionic cross-linking with calcium ions followed by ion exchange with copper ions (method A) and (b) ionic cross-linking with copper ions (method B). A solution containing sodium borohydride, used as a reducing agent, was subsequently added to the hydrogels, producing in situ clusters of copper nanoparticles embedded in the alginate hydrogel matrix. The method used and concentrations of copper and the reducing agent were found to affect the stability…