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AUTHOR Chen, Shangsi and Wang, Yue and Lai, Jiahui and Tan, Shenglong and Wang, Min
Title Structure and Properties of Gelatin Methacryloyl (GelMA) Synthesized in Different Reaction Systems [Abstract]
Year 2023
Journal/Proceedings Biomacromolecules
Gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) hydrogels have been extensively used for drug delivery and tissue engineering applications due to their good biocompatibility, biodegradability, and controllable photocurable efficiency. Phosphate buffer solution (PBS) is the most widely used reaction system for GelMA synthesis. However, carbonate-bicarbonate buffer solution (CBS) has been tried recently for synthesizing GelMA due to its high reaction efficiency. However, there is a lack of systematic investigation into possible differences in the structure and properties of GelMA synthesized in PBS and CBS, respectively. Therefore, in the current study, GelMA molecules with two degrees of methacryloylation (∼20 and ∼80%) were synthesized under PBS and CBS reaction systems, respectively, in comparable conditions. The results showed that because of the functionalization of methacrylate groups in gelatin chains, which could interfere with the intrachain and interchain interactions, such as hydrogen bonding, the GelMA molecules synthesized in PBS had distinct physical structures and exhibited different properties in comparison with those produced in CBS. GelMA hydrogels synthesized in PBS exhibited higher gel-sol transition temperatures and better photocurable efficiencies, mechanical strength, and biological properties. In contrast, GelMA hydrogels produced in CBS showed advantages in swelling performance and microstructures, such as pore sizes and porosities. In addition, GelMA synthesized in PBS and possessing a high degree of methacryloylation (the “GelMA-PH” polymer) showed great potential for three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting. This focused study has gained helpful new insights into GelMA and can provide guidance on the application of GelMA in 3D printing and tissue engineering.
AUTHOR Wang, Chenmin and Honiball, John Robert and Lin, Junyu and Xia, Xingyu and Lau, Dzi Shing Aaron and Chen, Bo and Deng, Lianfu and Lu, William Weijia
Title Infiltration from Suspension Systems Enables Effective Modulation of 3D Scaffold Properties in Suspension Bioprinting [Abstract]
Year 2022
Journal/Proceedings ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces
Bioprinting is a biofabrication technology which allows efficient and large-scale manufacture of 3D cell culture systems. However, the available biomaterials for bioinks used in bioprinting are limited by their printability and biological functionality. Fabricated constructs are often homogeneous and have limited complexity in terms of current 3D cell culture systems comprising multiple cell types. Inspired by the phenomenon that hydrogels can exchange liquids under the infiltration action, infiltration-induced suspension bioprinting (IISBP), a novel printing technique based on a hyaluronic acid (HA) suspension system to modulate the properties of the printed scaffolds by infiltration action, was described in this study. HA served as a suspension system due to its shear-thinning and self-healing rheological properties, simplicity of preparation, reusability, and ease of adjustment to osmotic pressure. Changes in osmotic pressure were able to direct the swelling or shrinkage of 3D printed gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA)-based bioinks, enabling the regulation of physical properties such as fiber diameter, micromorphology, mechanical strength, and water absorption of 3D printed scaffolds. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were applied as a cell culture model and printed within cell-laden scaffolds at high resolution and cell viability with the IISBP technique. Herein, the IISBP technique had been realized as a reliable hydrogel-based bioprinting technique, which enabled facile modulation of 3D printed hydrogel scaffolds properties, being expected to meet the scaffolds requirements of a wide range of cell culture conditions to be utilized in bioprinting applications.
AUTHOR Jiahui Lai and Xinliang Ye and Jia Liu and Chong Wang and Junzhi Li and Xiang Wang and Mingze Ma and Min Wang
Title 4D printing of highly printable and shape morphing hydrogels composed of alginate and methylcellulose [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Materials & Design
4D printing of swellable/shrinkable hydrogels has been viewed as an appealing approach for fabricating dynamic structures for various biomedical applications. However, 4D printing of precise hydrogel structures is still highly challenging due to the relatively poor printability of hydrogels and high surface roughness of printed patterns, when micro extrusion-based 3D printers are used. In this study, a highly printable and shape morphing hydrogel was investigated for 4D printing by blending alginate (Alg) and methylcellulose (MC). The optimized Alg/MC hydrogel exhibited excellent rheological properties, extrudability and shape fidelity of printed structures. The printable Alg/MC hydrogel was 4D printed into a series of patterned 2D architectures which were encoded with anisotropic stiffness and swelling behaviors by strategically controlling the network density gradients vertical to the orientation of the patterned strips. By controlling the strip interspacing and angle, these 2D architectures could transform into various prescribed simple 3D morphologies (e.g., tube-curling and helix) and complex 3D morphologies (e.g., double helix and flowers) after immersion in a calcium chloride solution. This shape morphing Alg/MC hydrogel with excellent printability has high potential for 4D printing of delicate hydrogel patterns, which are increasingly needed in the tissue engineering, biomedical device and soft robotics fields.