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AUTHOR Noor, Nadav and Shapira, Assaf and Edri, Reuven and Gal, Idan and Wertheim, Lior and Dvir, Tal
Title 3D Printing of Personalized Thick and Perfusable Cardiac Patches and Hearts [Abstract]
Year 2019
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Science
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Abstract Generation of thick vascularized tissues that fully match the patient still remains an unmet challenge in cardiac tissue engineering. Here, a simple approach to 3D-print thick, vascularized, and perfusable cardiac patches that completely match the immunological, cellular, biochemical, and anatomical properties of the patient is reported. To this end, a biopsy of an omental tissue is taken from patients. While the cells are reprogrammed to become pluripotent stem cells, and differentiated to cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells, the extracellular matrix is processed into a personalized hydrogel. Following, the two cell types are separately combined with hydrogels to form bioinks for the parenchymal cardiac tissue and blood vessels. The ability to print functional vascularized patches according to the patient's anatomy is demonstrated. Blood vessel architecture is further improved by mathematical modeling of oxygen transfer. The structure and function of the patches are studied in vitro, and cardiac cell morphology is assessed after transplantation, revealing elongated cardiomyocytes with massive actinin striation. Finally, as a proof of concept, cellularized human hearts with a natural architecture are printed. These results demonstrate the potential of the approach for engineering personalized tissues and organs, or for drug screening in an appropriate anatomical structure and patient-specific biochemical microenvironment.
AUTHOR Derr, Kristy and Zou, Jinyun and Luo, Keren and Song, Min Jae and Sittampalam, G. Sitta and Zhou, Chao and Michael, Samuel and Ferrer, Marc and Derr, Paige
Title Fully 3D Bioprinted Skin Equivalent Constructs with Validated Morphology and Barrier Function [Abstract]
Year 2019
Journal/Proceedings Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods
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Development of high throughput, reproducible, three-dimensional bioprinted skin equivalents that are morphologically and functionally comparable to native skin tissue is advancing research in skin diseases, and providing a physiologically relevant platform for the development of therapeutics, transplants for regenerative medicine, and testing of skin products like cosmetics. Current protocols for the production of engineered skin rafts are limited in their ability to control three dimensional geometry of the structure and contraction leading to variability of skin function between constructs. Here we describe a method for the biofabrication of skin equivalents that are fully bioprinted using an open market bioprinter, made with commercially available primary cells and natural hydrogels. The unique hydrogel formulation allows for the production of a human-like skin equivalent with minimal lateral tissue contraction in a multiwell plate format, thus making them suitable for high throughput bioprinting in a single print with fast print and relatively short incubation times. The morphology and barrier function of the fully three-dimensional bioprinted skin equivalents are validated by immunohistochemistry staining, optical coherence tomography, and permeation assays.
AUTHOR Nulty, Jessica and Burdis, Ross and Kelly, Daniel J.
Title Biofabrication of Prevascularised Hypertrophic Cartilage Microtissues for Bone Tissue Engineering [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
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Bone tissue engineering (TE) has the potential to transform the treatment of challenging musculoskeletal pathologies. To date, clinical translation of many traditional TE strategies has been impaired by poor vascularisation of the implant. Addressing such challenges has motivated research into developmentally inspired TE strategies, whereby implants mimicking earlier stages of a tissue’s development are engineered in vitro and then implanted in vivo to fully mature into the adult tissue. The goal of this study was to engineer in vitro tissues mimicking the immediate developmental precursor to long bones, specifically a vascularised hypertrophic cartilage template, and to then assess the capacity of such a construct to support endochondral bone formation in vivo. To this end, we first developed a method for the generation of large numbers of hypertrophic cartilage microtissues using a microwell system, and encapsulated these microtissues into a fibrin-based hydrogel capable of supporting vasculogenesis by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). The microwells supported the formation of bone marrow derived stem/stromal cell (BMSC) aggregates and their differentiation toward a hypertrophic cartilage phenotype over 5 weeks of cultivation, as evident by the development of a matrix rich in sulphated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG), collagen types I, II, and X, and calcium. Prevascularisation of these microtissues, undertaken in vitro 1 week prior to implantation, enhanced their capacity to mineralise, with significantly higher levels of mineralised tissue observed within such implants after 4 weeks in vivo within an ectopic murine model for bone formation. It is also possible to integrate such microtissues into 3D bioprinting systems, thereby enabling the bioprinting of scaled-up, patient-specific prevascularised implants. Taken together, these results demonstrate the development of an effective strategy for prevascularising a tissue engineered construct comprised of multiple individual microtissue “building blocks,” which could potentially be used in the treatment of challenging bone defects.
AUTHOR Curti, Filis and Drăgușin, Diana-Maria and Serafim, Andrada and Iovu, Horia and Stancu, Izabela-Cristina
Title Development of thick paste-like inks based on superconcentrated gelatin/alginate for 3D printing of scaffolds with shape fidelity and stability [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Materials Science and Engineering: C
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Shape fidelity and integrity are serious challenges in the 3D printing of hydrogel precursors, as they can influence the overall performance of 3D scaffolds. This work reports the development of superconcentrated inks based on sodium alginate and fish gelatin as an appealing strategy to satisfy such challenges and dictate the quality of the printed scaffolds, without using crosslinking strategies during 3D printing. SEM micrographs and micro-CT images indicate the homogeneous distribution of the polysaccharide in the gelatin-based matrix, suggesting its potential to act as a reinforcing additive. The high concentration of gelatin aqueous solution (50 wt%) and substantial incorporation of alginate have facilitated the highly accurate printability and influence the in vitro stability and mechanical properties of the printed scaffolds. An improvement of the stiffness is dictated by the increase of alginate concentration from 20 wt% to 25 wt%, and an increase of Young modulus with about 46% is reached, confirming the reinforcing effect of polysaccharide. This study highlights the potential of paste-type inks to provide high resolution 3D printed structures with appealing structural and dimensional stability, in vitro degradability and mechanical properties for biomedical applications.
AUTHOR Trucco, Diego and Sharma, Aarushi and Manferdini, Cristina and Gabusi, Elena and Petretta, Mauro and Desando, Giovanna and Ricotti, Leonardo and Chakraborty, Juhi and Ghosh, Sourabh and Lisignoli, Gina
Title Modeling and Fabrication of Silk Fibroin-Gelatin-Based Constructs Using Extrusion-Based Three-Dimensional Bioprinting [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings ACS Biomater. Sci. Eng.
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Robotic dispensing-based 3D bioprinting represents one of the most powerful technologies to develop hydrogel-based 3D constructs with enormous potential in the field of regenerative medicine. The optimization of hydrogel printing parameters, proper geometry and internal architecture of the constructs, and good cell viability during the bioprinting process are the essential requirements. In this paper, an analytical model based on the hydrogel rheological properties was developed to predict the extruded filament width in order to maximize the printed structure’s fidelity to the design. Viscosity data of two natural hydrogels were imputed to a power-law model to extrapolate the filament width. Further, the model data were validated by monitoring the obtained filament width as the output. Shear stress values occurring during the bioprinting process were also estimated. Human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) were encapsulated in the silk fibroin-gelatin (G)-based hydrogel, and a 3D bioprinting process was performed to produce cell-laden constructs. Live and dead assay allowed estimating the impact of needle shear stress on cell viability after the bioprinting process. Finally, we tested the potential of hMSCs to undergo chondrogenic differentiation by evaluating the cartilaginous extracellular matrix production through immunohistochemical analyses. Overall, the use of the proposed analytical model enables defining the optimal printing parameters to maximize the fabricated constructs’ fidelity to design parameters before the process execution, enabling to achieve more controlled and standardized products than classical trial-and-error approaches in the biofabrication of engineered constructs. Employing modeling systems exploiting the rheological properties of the hydrogels might be a valid tool in the future for guaranteeing high cell viability and for optimizing tissue engineering approaches in regenerative medicine applications. Robotic dispensing-based 3D bioprinting represents one of the most powerful technologies to develop hydrogel-based 3D constructs with enormous potential in the field of regenerative medicine. The optimization of hydrogel printing parameters, proper geometry and internal architecture of the constructs, and good cell viability during the bioprinting process are the essential requirements. In this paper, an analytical model based on the hydrogel rheological properties was developed to predict the extruded filament width in order to maximize the printed structure’s fidelity to the design. Viscosity data of two natural hydrogels were imputed to a power-law model to extrapolate the filament width. Further, the model data were validated by monitoring the obtained filament width as the output. Shear stress values occurring during the bioprinting process were also estimated. Human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) were encapsulated in the silk fibroin-gelatin (G)-based hydrogel, and a 3D bioprinting process was performed to produce cell-laden constructs. Live and dead assay allowed estimating the impact of needle shear stress on cell viability after the bioprinting process. Finally, we tested the potential of hMSCs to undergo chondrogenic differentiation by evaluating the cartilaginous extracellular matrix production through immunohistochemical analyses. Overall, the use of the proposed analytical model enables defining the optimal printing parameters to maximize the fabricated constructs’ fidelity to design parameters before the process execution, enabling to achieve more controlled and standardized products than classical trial-and-error approaches in the biofabrication of engineered constructs. Employing modeling systems exploiting the rheological properties of the hydrogels might be a valid tool in the future for guaranteeing high cell viability and for optimizing tissue engineering approaches in regenerative medicine applications.
AUTHOR Chawla, Shikha and Desando, Giovanna and Gabusi, Elena and Sharma, Aarushi and Trucco, Diego and Chakraborty, Juhi and Manferdini, Cristina and Petretta, Mauro and Lisignoli, Gina and Ghosh, Sourabh
Title The effect of silk-gelatin bioink and TGF-β3 on mesenchymal stromal cells in 3D bioprinted chondrogenic constructs: A proteomic study [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Journal of Materials Research
Reftype Chawla2021
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Major limitation of 3D bioprinting is the poor understanding of the role of bioink in modulating molecular signaling pathways. Phenotypically stable engineered articular cartilage was fabricated using silk fibroin-gelatin (SF-G) bioink and progenitor cells or mature articular chondrocytes. In the current study, role of SF-G bioink in modulating in vitro chondrogenic signaling pathways in human bone marrow-derived stromal cells (hMSCs) is elucidated. The interaction between SF-G bioink and hMSCs augmented several chondrogenic pathways, including Wnt, HIF-1, and Notch. We explored the debatable role of TGF-β signaling, by assessing the differential protein expression by hMSCs-laden bioprinted constructs in the presence and absence of TGF-β3. hMSCs-laden bioprinted constructs contained a large percentage of collagen type II and Filamin-B, typical to the native articular cartilage. Hypertrophy markers were not identified following TGF-β3 addition. This is first detailed proteomics analysis to identify articular cartilage-specific pathways in SF-G-based 3D bioprinted construct.
AUTHOR Göckler, Tobias and Haase, Sonja and Kempter, Xenia and Pfister, Rebecca and Maciel, Bruna R. and Grimm, Alisa and Molitor, Tamara and Willenbacher, Norbert and Schepers, Ute
Title Tuning Superfast Curing Thiol-Norbornene-Functionalized Gelatin Hydrogels for 3D Bioprinting [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Healthcare Materials
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Abstract Photocurable gelatin-based hydrogels have established themselves as powerful bioinks in tissue engineering due to their excellent biocompatibility, biodegradability, light responsiveness, thermosensitivity and bioprinting properties. While gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) has been the gold standard for many years, thiol-ene hydrogel systems based on norbornene-functionalized gelatin (GelNB) and a thiolated crosslinker have recently gained increasing importance. In this paper, a highly reproducible water-based synthesis of GelNB is presented, avoiding the use of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as organic solvent and covering a broad range of degrees of functionalization (DoF: 20% to 97%). Mixing with thiolated gelatin (GelS) results in the superfast curing photoclick hydrogel GelNB/GelS. Its superior properties over GelMA, such as substantially reduced amounts of photoinitiator (0.03% (w/v)), superfast curing (1–2 s), higher network homogeneity, post-polymerization functionalization ability, minimal cross-reactivity with cellular components, and improved biocompatibility of hydrogel precursors and degradation products lead to increased survival of primary cells in 3D bioprinting. Post-printing viability analysis revealed excellent survival rates of > 84% for GelNB/GelS bioinks of varying crosslinking density, while cell survival for GelMA bioinks is strongly dependent on the DoF. Hence, the semisynthetic and easily accessible GelNB/GelS hydrogel is a highly promising bioink for future medical applications and other light-based biofabrication techniques.
AUTHOR Browning, James R. and Derr, Paige and Derr, Kristy and Doudican, Nicole and Michael, Sam and Lish, Samantha R. and Taylor, Nicholas A. and Krueger, James G. and Ferrer, Marc and Carucci, John A. and Gareau, Daniel S.
Title A 3D biofabricated cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma tissue model with multi-channel confocal microscopy imaging biomarkers to quantify antitumor effects of chemotherapeutics in tissue [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Oncotarget; Vol 11, No 27
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// James R. Browning 1 , Paige Derr 2 , Kristy Derr 2 , Nicole Doudican 3 , Sam Michael 2 , Samantha R. Lish 1 , Nicholas A. Taylor 3 , James G. Krueger 1 , Marc Ferrer 2 , John A. Carucci 3 and Daniel S. Gareau 1 1 Laboratory for Investigative Dermatology, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York, USA 2 National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland, USA 3 The Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA Correspondence to: Daniel S. Gareau, email: dgareau@rockefeller.edu Keywords: squamous cell carcinoma; screening; 3D printing; in vitro model; confocal microscopy Received: January 05, 2020     Accepted: April 03, 2020     Published: July 07, 2020 ABSTRACT Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) causes approximately 10,000 deaths annually in the U. S. Current therapies are largely ineffective against metastatic and locally advanced cSCC. There is a need to identify novel, effective, and less toxic small molecule cSCC therapeutics. We developed a 3-dimensional bioprinted skin (3DBPS) model of cSCC tumors together with a microscopy assay to test chemotherapeutic effects in tissue. The full thickness SCC tissue model was validated using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and immunohistochemical histological staining, confocal microscopy, and cDNA microarray analysis. A nondestructive, 3D fluorescence confocal imaging assay with tdTomato-labeled A431 SCC and ZsGreen-labeled keratinocytes was developed to test efficacy and general toxicity of chemotherapeutics. Fluorescence-derived imaging biomarkers indicated that 50% of cancer cells were killed in the tissue after 1?M 5-Fluorouracil 48-hour treatment, compared to a baseline of 12% for untreated controls. The imaging biomarkers also showed that normal keratinocytes were less affected by treatment (11% killed) than the untreated tissue, which had no significant killing effect. Data showed that 5-Fluorouracil selectively killed cSCC cells more than keratinocytes. Our 3DBPS assay platform provides cellular-level measurement of cell viability and can be adapted to achieve nondestructive high-throughput screening (HTS) in bio-fabricated tissues.
AUTHOR Somasekharan, Lakshmi and Kasoju, Naresh and Raju, Riya and Bhatt, Anugya
Title Formulation and Characterization of Alginate Dialdehyde, Gelatin, and Platelet-Rich Plasma-Based Bioink for Bioprinting Applications [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Bioengineering
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Layer-by-layer additive manufacturing process has evolved into three-dimensional (3D) “bio-printing” as a means of constructing cell-laden functional tissue equivalents. The process typically involves the mixing of cells of interest with an appropriate hydrogel, termed as “bioink”, followed by printing and tissue maturation. An ideal bioink should have adequate mechanical, rheological, and biological features of the target tissues. However, native extracellular matrix (ECM) is made of an intricate milieu of soluble and non-soluble extracellular factors, and mimicking such a composition is challenging. To this end, here we report the formulation of a multi-component bioink composed of gelatin and alginate -based scaffolding material, as well as a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) suspension, which mimics the insoluble and soluble factors of native ECM respectively. Briefly, sodium alginate was subjected to controlled oxidation to yield alginate dialdehyde (ADA), and was mixed with gelatin and PRP in various volume ratios in the presence of borax. The formulation was systematically characterized for its gelation time, swelling, and water uptake, as well as its morphological, chemical, and rheological properties; furthermore, blood- and cytocompatibility were assessed as per ISO 10993 (International Organization for Standardization). Printability, shape fidelity, and cell-laden printing was evaluated using the RegenHU 3D Discovery bioprinter. The results indicated the successful development of ADA–gelatin–PRP based bioink for 3D bioprinting and biofabrication applications.
AUTHOR Figueiredo, Lara and Le Visage, Catherine and Weiss, Pierre and Yang, Jing
Title Quantifying Oxygen Levels in 3D Bioprinted Cell-Laden Thick Constructs with Perfusable Microchannel Networks [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Polymers
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The survival and function of thick tissue engineered implanted constructs depends on pre-existing, embedded, functional, vascular-like structures that are able to integrate with the host vasculature. Bioprinting was employed to build perfusable vascular-like networks within thick constructs. However, the improvement of oxygen transportation facilitated by these vascular-like networks was directly quantified. Using an optical fiber oxygen sensor, we measured the oxygen content at different positions within 3D bioprinted constructs with and without perfusable microchannel networks. Perfusion was found to play an essential role in maintaining relatively high oxygen content in cell-laden constructs and, consequently, high cell viability. The concentration of oxygen changes following switching on and off the perfusion. Oxygen concentration depletes quickly after pausing perfusion but recovers rapidly after resuming the perfusion. The quantification of oxygen levels within cell-laden hydrogel constructs could provide insight into channel network design and cellular responses.
AUTHOR Mestre, Rafael and Patiño, Tania and Barceló, Xavier and Anand, Shivesh and Pérez-Jiménez, Ariadna and Sánchez, Samuel
Title Force Modulation and Adaptability of 3D-Bioprinted Biological Actuators Based on Skeletal Muscle Tissue [Abstract]
Year 2019
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Materials Technologies
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Abstract The integration of biological systems into robotic devices might provide them with capabilities acquired from natural systems and significantly boost their performance. These abilities include real-time bio-sensing, self-organization, adaptability, or self-healing. As many muscle-based bio-hybrid robots and bio-actuators arise in the literature, the question of whether these features can live up to their expectations becomes increasingly substantial. Herein, the force generation and adaptability of skeletal-muscle-based bio-actuators undergoing long-term training protocols are analyzed. The 3D-bioprinting technique is used to fabricate bio-actuators that are functional, responsive, and have highly aligned myotubes. The bio-actuators are 3D-bioprinted together with two artificial posts, allowing to use it as a force measuring platform. In addition, the force output evolution and dynamic gene expression of the bio-actuators are studied to evaluate their degree of adaptability according to training protocols of different frequencies and mechanical stiffness, finding that their force generation could be modulated to different requirements. These results shed some light into the fundamental mechanisms behind the adaptability of muscle-based bio-actuators and highlight the potential of using 3D bioprinting as a rapid and cost-effective tool for the fabrication of custom-designed soft bio-robots.
AUTHOR Sharma, Aarushi and Desando, Giovanna and Petretta, Mauro and Chawla, Shikha and Bartolotti, Isabella and Manferdini, Cristina and Paolella, Francesca and Gabusi, Elena and Trucco, Diego and Ghosh, Sourabh and Lisignoli, Gina
Title Investigating the Role of Sustained Calcium Release in Silk-Gelatin-Based Three-Dimensional Bioprinted Constructs for Enhancing the Osteogenic Differentiation of Human Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
Year 2019
Journal/Proceedings ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering
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AUTHOR Xu, Yichi and Peng, Jiang and Richards, Geoff and Lu, Shibi and Eglin, David
Title Optimization of electrospray fabrication of stem cell–embedded alginate–gelatin microspheres and their assembly in 3D-printed poly(ε-caprolactone) scaffold for cartilage tissue engineering [Abstract]
Year 2019
Journal/Proceedings Journal of Orthopaedic Translation
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Objective Our study reports the optimization of electrospray human bone marrow stromal cell (hBMSCs)–embedded alginate–gelatin (Alg-Gel, same as following) microspheres for the purpose of their assembly in 3D-printed poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) scaffold for the fabrication of a mechanically stable and biological supportive tissue engineering cartilage construct. Methods The fabrication of the Alg-Gel microspheres using an electrospray technique was optimized in terms of polydispersity, yield of microspheres and circularity and varying fabrication conditions. PCL scaffolds were designed and printed by melt extrusion. Then, four groups were set: Alg-hBMSC microspheres cultured in the 2D well plate (Alg-hBMSCs+2D) group, Alg-Gel-hBMSC microspheres cultured in the 2D well plate (Alg-Gel-hBMSCs+2D) group, Alg-Gel-hBMSC microspheres embedded in PCL scaffold cultured in the 2D well plate (Alg-Gel-hBMSCs+2D) group and Alg-Gel-hBMSCs microspheres cultured in the 3D bioreactor (Alg-Gel-hBMSCs+3D) group. Cell viability, proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation were evaluated, and mechanical test was performed. Results Nonaggregated, low polydispersity and almost spherical microspheres of average diameter of 200–300 μm were produced with alginate 1.5 w: v%, gelatin (Type B) concentration of 0.5 w: v % and CaCl2 coagulating bath concentration of 3.0 w: v %, using 30G needle size and 8 kV and 0.6 bar voltage and air pressure, respectively. Alginate with gelatin hydrogel improved viability and promoted hBMSC proliferation better than alginate microspheres. Interestingly, hBMSCs embedded in microspheres assembled in 3D-printed PCL scaffold and cultured in a 3D bioreactor were more proliferative in comparison to the previous two groups (p < 0.05). Similarly, the GAG content, GAG/DNA ratio as well as Coll 2 and Aggr gene expression were increased in the last two groups. Conclusion Optimization of hBMSC-embedded Alg-Gel microspheres produced by electrospray has been performed. The Alg-Gel composition selected allows conservation of hBMSC viability and supports proliferation and matrix deposition. The possibility to seed and assemble microspheres in designed 3D-printed PCL scaffolds for the fabrication of a mechanically stable and biological supportive tissue engineering cartilage construct was demonstrated. Translational potential of this article We optimize and demonstrate that electrospray microsphere fabrication is a cytocompatible and facile process to produce the hBMSC-embedded microsize tissue-like particles that can easily be assembled into a stable construct. This finding could have application in the development of mechanically competent stem cell–based tissue engineering of cartilage regeneration.
AUTHOR Li, Huijun and Tan, Yu Jun and Li, Lin
Title A strategy for strong interface bonding by 3D bioprinting of oppositely charged κ-carrageenan and gelatin hydrogels [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings Carbohydrate Polymers
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A promising approach for improving the interfacial bonding of a three-dimensionally (3D) printed multilayered structure has been investigated by taking advantage of the electrostatic interactions between two hydrogels with oppositely charges. Here, two hydrogels namely gelatin and κ-carrageenan, which are the cationic and anionic hydrogels respectively, are used. It is found that the interfacial bonding strength between these two oppositely charged hydrogels is significantly higher than that of a bilayered gelatin or a bilayered κ-carrageenan. The bioprinted multilayered κ-carrageenan-gelatin hydrogel construct demonstrates a very good biocompatibility and a good structure integrity at 37 °C. Our strategy also overcomes the limitation of using gelatin for bio-fabrication at 37 °C, without further post crosslinking.
AUTHOR Fortunato, Gabriele Maria and Maria, Carmelo De and Eglin, David and Serra, Tiziano and Vozzi, Giovanni
Title An ink-jet printed electrical stimulation platform for muscle tissue regeneration [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings Bioprinting
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Conducting polymeric materials have been used to modulate response of cells seeded on their surfaces. However, there is still major improvement to be made related to their biocompatibility, conductivity, stability in biological milieu, and processability toward truly tissue engineered functional device. In this work, conductive polymer, poly(3,4-ethylene-dioxythiophene):polystyrene-sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS), and its possible applications in tissue engineering were explored. In particular PEDOT:PSS solution was inkjet printed onto a gelatin substrate for obtaining a conductive structure. Mechanical and electrical characterizations, structural stability by swelling and degradation tests were carried out on different PEDOT-based samples obtained by varying the number of printed PEDOT layers from 5 to 50 on gelatin substrate. Biocompatibility of substrates was investigated on C2C12 myoblasts, through metabolic activity assay and imaging analysis during a 7-days culture period, to assess cell morphology, differentiation and alignment. The results of this first part allowed to proceed with the second part of the study in which these substrates were used for the design of an electrical stimulation device, with the aim of providing the external stimulus (3 V amplitude square wave at 1 and 2 Hz frequency) to guide myotubes alignment and enhance differentiation, having in this way promising applications in the field of muscle tissue engineering.
AUTHOR Paxton, Naomi Claire and Smolan, Willi and Böck, Thomas and Melchels, Ferry P. W. and Groll, Juergen and Juengst, Tomasz
Title Proposal to Assess Printability of Bioinks for Extrusion-Based Bioprinting and Evaluation of Rheological Properties Governing Bioprintability [Abstract]
Year 2017
Journal/Proceedings Biofabrication
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Abstract The development and formulation of printable inks for extrusion-based 3D bioprinting has been a major challenge in the field of biofabrication. Inks, often polymer solutions with the addition of crosslinking to form hydrogels, must not only display adequate mechanical properties for the chosen application, but also show high biocompatibility as well as printability. Here we describe a reproducible two-step method for the assessment of the printability of inks for bioprinting, focussing firstly on screening ink formulations to assess fibre formation and the ability to form 3D constructs before presenting a method for the rheological evaluation of inks to characterise the yield point, shear thinning and recovery behaviour. In conjunction, a mathematical model was formulated to provide a theoretical understanding of the pressure-driven, shear thinning extrusion of inks through needles in a bioprinter. The assessment methods were trialled with a commercially-available crème, poloxamer 407, alginate-based inks and an alginate-gelatin composite material. Yield stress was investigated by applying a stress ramp to a number of inks, which demonstrated the necessity of high yield for printable materials. The shear thinning behaviour of the inks was then characterised by quantifying the degree of shear thinning and using the mathematical model to predict the window of printer operating parameters in which the materials could be printed. Furthermore, the model predicted high shear conditions and high residence times for cells at the walls of the needle and effects on cytocompatibility at different printing conditions. Finally, the ability of the materials to recover to their original viscosity after extrusion was examined using rotational recovery rheological measurements. Taken together, these assessment techniques revealed significant insights into the requirements for printable inks and shear conditions present during the extrusion process and allow the rapid and reproducible characterisation of a wide variety of inks for bioprinting.
AUTHOR DeSimone, Elise and Schacht, Kristin and Pellert, Alexandra and Scheibel, Thomas
Title Recombinant spider silk-based bioinks [Abstract]
Year 2017
Journal/Proceedings Biofabrication
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Bioinks, 3D cell culture systems which can be printed, are still in the early development stages. Currently, extensive research is going into designing printers to be more accommodating to bioinks, designing scaffolds with stiff materials as support structures for the often soft bioinks, and modifying the bioinks themselves. Recombinant spider silk proteins, a potential biomaterial component for bioinks, have high biocompatibility, can be processed into several morphologies and can be modified with cell adhesion motifs to enhance their bioactivity. In this work, thermally gelled hydrogels made from recombinant spider silk protein encapsulating mouse fibroblast cell line BALB/3T3 were prepared and characterized. The bioinks were evaluated for performance in vitro both before and after printing, and it was observed that unprinted bioinks provided a good platform for cell spreading and proliferation, while proliferation in printed scaffolds was prohibited. To improve the properties of the printed hydrogels, gelatin was given as an additive and thereby served indirectly as a plasticizer, improving the resolution of printed strands. Taken together, recombinant spider silk proteins and hydrogels made thereof show good potential as a bioink, warranting further development.
AUTHOR Bertlein, Sarah and Brown, Gabriella and Lim, Khoon and Jungst, Tomasz and Boeck, Thomas and Blunk, Torsten and Tessmar, Joerg and J. Hooper, Gary and Woodfield, Tim and Groll, Jürgen
Title Thiol-Ene Clickable Gelatin: A Platform Bioink for Multiple 3D Biofabrication Technologies [Abstract]
Year 2017
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Materials
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Bioprinting can be defined as the art of combining materials and cells to fabricate designed, hierarchical 3D hybrid constructs. Suitable materials, so called bioinks, have to comply with challenging rheological processing demands and rapidly form a stable hydrogel postprinting in a cytocompatible manner. Gelatin is often adopted for this purpose, usually modified with (meth-)acryloyl functionalities for postfabrication curing by free radical photopolymerization, resulting in a hydrogel that is cross-linked via nondegradable polymer chains of uncontrolled length. The application of allylated gelatin (GelAGE) as a thiol-ene clickable bioink for distinct biofabrication applications is reported. Curing of this system occurs via dimerization and yields a network with flexible properties that offer a wider biofabrication window than (meth-)acryloyl chemistry, and without additional nondegradable components. An in-depth analysis of GelAGE synthesis is conducted, and standard UV-initiation is further compared with a recently described visible-light-initiator system for GelAGE hydrogel formation. It is demonstrated that GelAGE may serve as a platform bioink for several biofabrication technologies by fabricating constructs with high shape fidelity via lithography-based (digital light processing) 3D printing and extrusion-based 3D bioprinting, the latter supporting long-term viability postprinting of encapsulated chondrocytes.
AUTHOR Ng, Wei Long and Yeong, Wai Yee and Naing, May Win
Title Polyelectrolyte gelatin-chitosan hydrogel optimized for 3D bioprinting in skin tissue engineering [Abstract]
Year 2016
Journal/Proceedings International Journal of Bioprinting
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Bioprinting is a promising automated platform that enables the simultaneous deposition of multiple types of cells and biomaterials to fabricate complex three-dimensional (3D) tissue constructs. Most of the previous bioprinting works focused on collagen-based biomaterial, which has poor printability and long crosslinking time. This posed a immerse challenge to create a 3D construct with pre-determined shape and configuration. There is a need for a functional material with good printability in order to fabricate a 3D skin construct. Recently, the use of chitosan for wound healing applications has attracted huge attention due to its attractive traits such as its antimicrobial properties and ability to trigger hemostasis. In this paper, we report the modification of chitosan-based biomaterials for functional 3D bioprinting. Modification to the chitosan was carried out via the oppositely charged functional groups from chitosan and gelatin at a specific pH of ~pH 6.5 to form polyelectrolyte complexes. The polyelectrolyte hydrogels were evaluated in terms of chemical interactions within polymer blend, rheological properties (viscosities, storage and loss modulus), printing resolution at varying pressures and feed rates and biocompatibility. The chitosan-based hydrogels formulated in this work exhibited good printability at room temperature, high shape fidelity of the printed 3D constructs and good biocompatibility with fibroblast skin cells.