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AUTHOR Nothdurfter, Daniel and Ploner, Christian and Coraça-Huber, Débora C. and Wilflingseder, Doris and Müller, Thomas and Hermann, Martin and Hagenbuchner, Judith and Ausserlechner, Michael J.
Title 3D bioprinted, vascularized neuroblastoma tumor environment in fluidic chip devices for precision medicine drug testing [Abstract]
Year 2022
Journal/Proceedings Biofabrication
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Neuroblastoma is an extracranial solid tumor which develops in early childhood and still has a poor prognosis. One strategy to increase cure rates is the identification of patient-specific drug responses in tissue models that mimic the interaction between patient cancer cells and tumor environment. We therefore developed a perfused and micro-vascularized tumor-environment model that is directly bioprinted into custom-manufactured fluidic chips. A gelatin-methacrylate/fibrin-based matrix containing multiple cell types mimics the tumor-microenvironment that promotes spontaneous micro-vessel formation by embedded endothelial cells. We demonstrate that both, adipocyte- and iPSC-derived mesenchymal stem cells can guide this process. Bioprinted channels are coated with endothelial cells post printing to form a dense vessel - tissue barrier. The tissue model thereby mimics structure and function of human soft tissue with endothelial cell-coated larger vessels for perfusion and micro-vessel networks within the hydrogel-matrix. Patient-derived neuroblastoma spheroids are added to the matrix during the printing process and grown for more than two weeks. We demonstrate that micro-vessels are attracted by and grow into tumor spheroids and that neuroblastoma cells invade the tumor-environment as soon as the spheroids disrupt. In summary, we describe the first bioprinted, micro-vascularized neuroblastoma – tumor-environment model directly printed into fluidic chips and a novel medium-throughput biofabrication platform suitable for studying tumor angiogenesis and metastasis in precision medicine approaches in future.
AUTHOR Bouwmeester, Manon C. and Bernal, Paulina N. and Oosterhoff, Loes A. and van Wolferen, Monique E. and Lehmann, Vivian and Vermaas, Monique and Buchholz, Maj-Britt and Peiffer, Quentin C. and Malda, Jos and van der Laan, Luc J. W. and Kramer, Nynke I. and Schneeberger, Kerstin and Levato, Riccardo and Spee, Bart
Title Bioprinting of Human Liver-Derived Epithelial Organoids for Toxicity Studies [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Macromolecular Bioscience
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Abstract There is a need for long-lived hepatic in vitro models to better predict drug induced liver injury (DILI). Human liver-derived epithelial organoids are a promising cell source for advanced in vitro models. Here, organoid technology is combined with biofabrication techniques, which holds great potential for the design of in vitro models with complex and customizable architectures. Here, porous constructs with human hepatocyte-like cells derived from organoids are generated using extrusion-based printing technology. Cell viability of bioprinted organoids remains stable for up to ten days (88–107% cell viability compared to the day of printing). The expression of hepatic markers, transporters, and phase I enzymes increased compared to undifferentiated controls, and is comparable to non-printed controls. Exposure to acetaminophen, a well-known hepatotoxic compound, decreases cell viability of bioprinted liver organoids to 21–51% (p < 0.05) compared to the start of exposure, and elevated levels of damage marker miR-122 are observed in the culture medium, indicating the potential use of the bioprinted constructs for toxicity testing. In conclusion, human liver-derived epithelial organoids can be combined with a biofabrication approach, thereby paving the way to create perfusable, complex constructs which can be used as toxicology- and disease-models.
AUTHOR Daly, Andrew C. and Kelly, Daniel J.
Title Biofabrication of spatially organised tissues by directing the growth of cellular spheroids within 3D printed polymeric microchambers [Abstract]
Year 2019
Journal/Proceedings Biomaterials
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Successful tissue engineering requires the generation of human scale implants that mimic the structure, composition and mechanical properties of native tissues. Here, we report a novel biofabrication strategy that enables the engineering of structurally organised tissues by guiding the growth of cellular spheroids within arrays of 3D printed polymeric microchambers. With the goal of engineering stratified articular cartilage, inkjet bioprinting was used to deposit defined numbers of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) and chondrocytes into pre-printed microchambers. These jetted cell suspensions rapidly underwent condensation within the hydrophobic microchambers, leading to the formation of organised arrays of cellular spheroids. The microchambers were also designed to provide boundary conditions to these spheroids, guiding their growth and eventual fusion, leading to the development of stratified cartilage tissue with a depth-dependant collagen fiber architecture that mimicked the structure of native articular cartilage. Furthermore, the composition and biomechanical properties of the bioprinted cartilage was also comparable to the native tissue. Using multi-tool biofabrication, we were also able to engineer anatomically accurate, human scale, osteochondral templates by printing this microchamber system on top of a hypertrophic cartilage region designed to support endochondral bone formation and then maintaining the entire construct in long-term bioreactor culture to enhance tissue development. This bioprinting strategy provides a versatile and scalable approach to engineer structurally organised cartilage tissues for joint resurfacing applications.
AUTHOR Daly, Andrew C. and Pitacco, Pierluca and Nulty, Jessica and Cunniffe, Gráinne M. and Kelly, Daniel J.
Title 3D printed microchannel networks to direct vascularisation during endochondral bone repair [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings Biomaterials
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Bone tissue engineering strategies that recapitulate the developmental process of endochondral ossification offer a promising route to bone repair. Clinical translation of such endochondral tissue engineering strategies will require overcoming a number of challenges, including the engineering of large and often anatomically complex cartilage grafts, as well as the persistence of core regions of avascular cartilage following their implantation into large bone defects. Here 3D printing technology is utilized to develop a versatile and scalable approach to guide vascularisation during endochondral bone repair. First, a sacrificial pluronic ink was used to 3D print interconnected microchannel networks in a mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) laden gelatin-methacryloyl (GelMA) hydrogel. These constructs (with and without microchannels) were next chondrogenically primed in vitro and then implanted into critically sized femoral bone defects in rats. The solid and microchanneled cartilage templates enhanced bone repair compared to untreated controls, with the solid cartilage templates (without microchannels) supporting the highest levels of total bone formation. However, the inclusion of 3D printed microchannels was found to promote osteoclast/immune cell invasion, hydrogel degradation, and vascularisation following implantation. In addition, the endochondral bone tissue engineering strategy was found to support comparable levels of bone healing to BMP-2 delivery, whilst promoting lower levels of heterotopic bone formation, with the microchanneled templates supporting the lowest levels of heterotopic bone formation. Taken together, these results demonstrate that 3D printed hypertrophic cartilage grafts represent a promising approach for the repair of complex bone fractures, particularly for larger defects where vascularisation will be a key challenge.
AUTHOR Strauß, Svenja and Schroth, Bianca and Hubbuch, Jürgen
Title Evaluation of the Reproducibility and Robustness of Extrusion-Based Bioprinting Processes Applying a Flow Sensor [Abstract]
Year 2022
Journal/Proceedings Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology
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Bioprinting is increasingly regarded as a suitable additive manufacturing method in biopharmaceutical process development and formulation. In order to manage the leap from research to industrial application, higher levels of reproducibility and a standardized bioprinting process are prerequisites. This said, the concept of process analytical technologies, standard in the biopharmaceutical industry, is still at its very early steps. To date most extrusion-based printing processes are controlled over penumatic pressure and thus not adaptive to environmental or system related changes over several experimental runs. A constant set pressure applied over a number of runs, might lead to variations in flow rate and thus to unreliable printed constructs. With this in mind, the simple question arises whether a printing process based on a set flow rate could improve reproduciblity and transfer to different printing systems. The control and monitoring of flow rate aim to introduce the concept of PAT in the field of bioprinting. This study investigates the effect of different processing modes (set pressure vs. set flow rate) on printing reproducibility occurring during an extrusion-based printing process consisting of 6 experimental runs consisting of 3 printed samples each. Additionally, the influence of different filling levels of the ink containing cartridge during a printing process was determined. Different solutions based on a varying amount of alginate polymer and Kolliphor hydrogels in varying concentrations showed the need for individual setting of printing parameter. To investigate parameter transferability among different devices two different printers were used and the flow was monitored using a flow sensor attached to the printing unit. It could be demonstrated that a set flow rate controlled printing process improved accuracy and the filling level also affects the accuracy of printing, the magnitude of this effects varies as the cartridge level declined. The transferability between printed devices was eased by setting the printing parameters according to a set flow rate of each bioink disregarding the value of the set pressure. Finally, by a bioprinting porcess control based on a set flow rate, the coefficient of variance for printed objects could be reduced from 0.2 to 0.02 for 10% (w/v) alginate polymer solutions.
AUTHOR Rahimnejad, Maedeh and Adoungotchodo, Atma and Demarquette, Nicole R. and Lerouge, Sophie
Title FRESH bioprinting of biodegradable chitosan thermosensitive hydrogels [Abstract]
Year 2022
Journal/Proceedings Bioprinting
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Thermosensitive chitosan (CH)-based hydrogels prepared with a mix of sodium bicarbonate and β-glycerophosphate as gelling agents rapidly pass from a liquid at room temperature to a mechanically strong solid at body temperature without any crosslinker. They show excellent potential for tissue engineering applications and could be interesting candidates for bioprinting. Unfortunately, since gelation is not instantaneous, formulations compatible with cell encapsulation (chitosan concentrations around 2% or lower) lead to very poor resolution and fidelity due to filament spreading. Here, we investigate the FRESH bioprinting approach with a warm sacrificial support bath, to overcome these limitations and enhance their bioprintability. First, a support bath, made of Pluronic including sodium chloride salt as a rheology modifier agent, was designed to meet the specific physical state requirements (solid at 37 °C and liquid at room temperature) and rheological properties appropriate for bioprinting. This support bath presented yield stress of over 100 Pa, a shear thinning behavior, and fast self-healing during cyclic recovery tests. Three different chitosan hydrogels (CH2%w/v, CH3%w/v, and a mixture of CH and gelatin) were tested for their ability to form filament and 3D structures, with and without a support bath. Both the resolution and mechanical properties of the printed structure were drastically enhanced using the FRESH method, with an approximate four fold decrease of the filament diameter which is close to the needle diameter. The printed structures were easily harvested without altering their shape by cooling down the support bath, and do not swell when immersed in PBS. Live/dead assays confirmed that the viability of encapsulated mesenchymal stem cells was highest in CH2% and that the support bath-assisted bioprinting process did not adversely impact cell viability. This study demonstrates that using a warm FRESH-like approach drastically enhances the potential for bioprinting of the thermosensitive biodegradable chitosan hydrogels and opens up a wide range of applications for 3D models and tissue engineering.
AUTHOR Sarmin, Atiya M. and El Moussaid, Nadia and Suntornnond, Ratima and Tyler, Eleanor J. and Kim, Yang-Hee and Di Cio, Stefania and Megone, William V. and Pearce, Oliver and Gautrot, Julien E. and Dawson, Jonathan and Connelly, John T.
Title Multi-Scale Analysis of the Composition, Structure, and Function of Decellularized Extracellular Matrix for Human Skin and Wound Healing Models [Abstract]
Year 2022
Journal/Proceedings Biomolecules
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The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a complex mixture of structural proteins, proteoglycans, and signaling molecules that are essential for tissue integrity and homeostasis. While a number of recent studies have explored the use of decellularized ECM (dECM) as a biomaterial for tissue engineering, the complete composition, structure, and mechanics of these materials remain incompletely understood. In this study, we performed an in-depth characterization of skin-derived dECM biomaterials for human skin equivalent (HSE) models. The dECM materials were purified from porcine skin, and through mass spectrometry profiling, we quantified the presence of major ECM molecules, including types I, III, and VI collagen, fibrillin, and lumican. Rheological analysis demonstrated the sol-gel and shear-thinning properties of dECM materials, indicating their physical suitability as a tissue scaffold, while electron microscopy revealed a complex, hierarchical structure of nanofibers in dECM hydrogels. The dECM materials were compatible with advanced biofabrication techniques, including 3D printing within a gelatin microparticle support bath, printing with a sacrificial material, or blending with other ECM molecules to achieve more complex compositions and structures. As a proof of concept, we also demonstrate how dECM materials can be fabricated into a 3D skin wound healing model using 3D printing. Skin-derived dECM therefore represents a complex and versatile biomaterial with advantageous properties for the fabrication of next-generation HSEs.
AUTHOR Demirörs, Ahmet F. and Poloni, Erik and Chiesa, Maddalena and Bargardi, Fabio L. and Binelli, Marco R. and Woigk, Wilhelm and de Castro, Lucas D. C. and Kleger, Nicole and Coulter, Fergal B. and Sicher, Alba and Galinski, Henning and Scheffold, Frank and Studart, André R.
Title Three-dimensional printing of photonic colloidal glasses into objects with isotropic structural color [Abstract]
Year 2022
Journal/Proceedings Nature Communications
Reftype Demirörs2022
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Structural color is frequently exploited by living organisms for biological functions and has also been translated into synthetic materials as a more durable and less hazardous alternative to conventional pigments. Additive manufacturing approaches were recently exploited for the fabrication of exquisite photonic objects, but the angle-dependence observed limits a broader application of structural color in synthetic systems. Here, we propose a manufacturing platform for the 3D printing of complex-shaped objects that display isotropic structural color generated from photonic colloidal glasses. Structurally colored objects are printed from aqueous colloidal inks containing monodisperse silica particles, carbon black, and a gel-forming copolymer. Rheology and Small-Angle-X-Ray-Scattering measurements are performed to identify the processing conditions leading to printed objects with tunable structural colors. Multimaterial printing is eventually used to create complex-shaped objects with multiple structural colors using silica and carbon as abundant and sustainable building blocks.
AUTHOR Golafshan, Nasim and Willemsen, Koen and Kadumudi, Firoz Babu and Vorndran, Elke and Dolatshahi-Pirouz, Alireza and Weinans, Harrie and van der Wal, Bart C. H. and Malda, Jos and Castilho, Miguel
Title 3D-Printed Regenerative Magnesium Phosphate Implant Ensures Stability and Restoration of Hip Dysplasia [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Healthcare Materials
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Abstract Osteoarthritis of the hip is a painful and debilitating condition commonly occurring in humans and dogs. One of the main causes that leads to hip osteoarthritis is hip dysplasia. Although the current surgical methods to correct dysplasia work satisfactorily in many circumstances, these are associated with serious complications, tissue resorption, and degeneration. In this study, a one-step fabrication of a regenerative hip implant with a patient-specific design and load-bearing properties is reported. The regenerative hip implant is fabricated based on patient imaging files and by an extrusion assisted 3D printing process using a flexible, bone-inducing biomaterial. The novel implant can be fixed with metallic screws to host bone and can be loaded up to physiological loads without signs of critical permanent deformation or failure. Moreover, after exposing the hip implant to accelerated in vitro degradation, it is confirmed that it is still able to support physiological loads even after losing ≈40% of its initial mass. In addition, the osteopromotive properties of the novel hip implant is demonstrated as shown by an increased expression of osteonectin and osteocalcin by cultured human mesenchymal stem cells after 21 days. Overall, the proposed hip implant provides an innovative regenerative and mechanically stable solution for hip dysplasia treatment.
AUTHOR Falcones, Bryan and Sanz-Fraile, Héctor and Marhuenda, Esther and Mendizábal, Irene and Cabrera-Aguilera, Ignacio and Malandain, Nanthilde and Uriarte, Juan J. and Almendros, Isaac and Navajas, Daniel and Weiss, Daniel J. and Farré, Ramon and Otero, Jorge
Title Bioprintable Lung Extracellular Matrix Hydrogel Scaffolds for 3D Culture of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Polymers
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Mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC)-based cell therapy in acute respiratory diseases is based on MSC secretion of paracrine factors. Several strategies have proposed to improve this are being explored including pre-conditioning the MSCs prior to administration. We here propose a strategy for improving the therapeutic efficacy of MSCs based on cell preconditioning by growing them in native extracellular matrix (ECM) derived from the lung. To this end, a bioink with tunable stiffness based on decellularized porcine lung ECM hydrogels was developed and characterized. The bioink was suitable for 3D culturing of lung-resident MSCs without the need for additional chemical or physical crosslinking. MSCs showed good viability, and contraction assays showed the existence of cell–matrix interactions in the bioprinted scaffolds. Adhesion capacity and length of the focal adhesions formed were increased for the cells cultured within the lung hydrogel scaffolds. Also, there was more than a 20-fold increase of the expression of the CXCR4 receptor in the 3D-cultured cells compared to the cells cultured in plastic. Secretion of cytokines when cultured in an in vitro model of lung injury showed a decreased secretion of pro-inflammatory mediators for the cells cultured in the 3D scaffolds. Moreover, the morphology of the harvested cells was markedly different with respect to conventionally (2D) cultured MSCs. In conclusion, the developed bioink can be used to bioprint structures aimed to improve preconditioning MSCs for therapeutic purposes.
AUTHOR Tan, Edgar Y. S. and Suntornnond, Ratima and Yeong, Wai Yee
Title High-Resolution Novel Indirect Bioprinting of Low-Viscosity Cell-Laden Hydrogels via Model-Support Bioink Interaction [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing
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Abstract Bioprinting of unmodified soft extracellular matrix into complex 3D structures has remained challenging to fabricate. Herein, we established a novel process for the printing of low-viscosity hydrogel by using a unique support technique to retain the structural integrity of the support structure. We demonstrated that this process of printing could be used for different types of hydrogel, ranging from fast crosslinking gelatin methacrylate to slow crosslinking collagen type I. In addition, we evaluated the biocompatibility of the process by observing the effects of the cytotoxicity of L929 and the functionality of the human umbilical vein endothelium primary cells after printing. The results show that the bioprinted construct provided excellent biocompatibility as well as supported cell growth and differentiation. Thus, this is a novel technique that can be potentially used to enhance the resolution of the extrusion-based bioprinter.
AUTHOR Lee, J. M. and Sing, S. L. and Yeong, W. Y.
Title Bioprinting of Multimaterials with Computer-aided Design/Computer -aided Manufacturing [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings International Journal of Bioprinting; Vol 6, No 1 (2020)
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Multimaterials deposition, a distinct advantage in bioprinting, overcomes material’s limitation in hydrogel-based bioprinting. Multimaterials are deposited in a build/support configuration to improve the structural integrity of three-dimensional bioprinted construct. A combination of rapid cross-linking hydrogel has been chosen for the build/support setup. The bioprinted construct was further chemically cross-linked to ensure a stable construct after print. This paper also proposes a file segmentation and preparation technique to be used in bioprinting for printing freeform structures.
AUTHOR Diloksumpan, Paweena and de Ruijter, Myl{`{e}}ne and Castilho, Miguel and Gbureck, Uwe and Vermonden, Tina and van Weeren, P. Ren{'{e}} and Malda, Jos and Levato, Riccardo
Title Combining multi-scale 3D printing technologies to engineer reinforced hydrogel-ceramic interfaces [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Biofabrication
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Multi-material 3D printing technologies that resolve features at different lengths down to the microscale open new avenues for regenerative medicine, particularly in the engineering of tissue interfaces. Herein, extrusion printing of a bone-biomimetic ceramic ink and melt electrowriting (MEW) of spatially organized polymeric microfibres are integrated for the biofabrication of an osteochondral plug, with a mechanically reinforced bone-to-cartilage interface. A printable physiological temperature-setting bioceramic, based on α-tricalcium phosphate, nanohydroxyapatite and a custom-synthesized biodegradable and crosslinkable poloxamer, was developed as bone support. The mild setting reaction of the bone ink enabled us to print directly within melt electrowritten polycaprolactone meshes, preserving their micro-architecture. Ceramic-integrated MEW meshes protruded into the cartilage region of the composite plug, and were embedded with mechanically soft gelatin-based hydrogels, laden with articular cartilage chondroprogenitor cells. Such interlocking design enhanced the hydrogel-to-ceramic adhesion strength >6.5-fold, compared with non-interlocking fibre architectures, enabling structural stability during handling and surgical implantation in osteochondral defects ex vivo. Furthermore, the MEW meshes endowed the chondral compartment with compressive properties approaching those of native cartilage (20-fold reinforcement versus pristine hydrogel). The osteal and chondral compartment supported osteogenesis and cartilage matrix deposition in vitro, and the neo-synthesized cartilage matrix further contributed to the mechanical reinforcement at the ceramic-hydrogel interface. This multi-material, multi-scale 3D printing approach provides a promising strategy for engineering advanced composite constructs for the regeneration of musculoskeletal and connective tissue interfaces.
AUTHOR Lee, Jia Min and Yeong, Wai Yee
Title Engineering macroscale cell alignment through coordinated toolpath design using support-assisted 3D bioprinting [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Journal of The Royal Society Interface
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Aligned cells provide direction-dependent mechanical properties that influence biological and mechanical function in native tissues. Alignment techniques such as casting and uniaxial stretching cannot fully replicate the complex fibre orientation of native tissue such as the heart. In this study, bioprinting is used to direct the orientation of cell alignment. A 0°–90° grid structure was printed to assess the robustness of the support-assisted bioprinting technique. The variation in the angles of the grid pattern is designed to mimic the differences in fibril orientation of native tissues, where angles of cell alignment vary across the different layers. Through bioprinting of a cell–hydrogel mixture, C2C12 cells displayed directed alignment along the longitudinal axis of printed struts. Cell alignment is induced through firstly establishing structurally stable constructs (i.e. distinct 0°–90° structures) and secondly, allowing cells to dynamically remodel the bioprinted construct. Herein reports a method of inducing a macroscale level of controlled cell alignment with angle variation. This was not achievable both in terms of methods (i.e. conventional alignment techniques such as stretching and electrical stimulation) and magnitude (i.e. hydrogel features with less than 100 µm features).
AUTHOR Abu Awwad, Hosam Al-Deen M. and Thiagarajan, Lalitha and Kanczler, Janos M. and Amer, Mahetab H. and Bruce, Gordon and Lanham, Stuart and Rumney, Robin M. H. and Oreffo, Richard O. C. and Dixon, James E.
Title Genetically-programmed, mesenchymal stromal cell-laden & mechanically strong 3D bioprinted scaffolds for bone repair [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Journal of Controlled Release
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Additive manufacturing processes used to create regenerative bone tissue engineered implants are not biocompatible, thereby restricting direct use with stem cells and usually require cell seeding post-fabrication. Combined delivery of stem cells with the controlled release of osteogenic factors, within a mechanically-strong biomaterial combined during manufacturing would replace injectable defect fillers (cements) and allow personalized implants to be rapidly prototyped by 3D bioprinting. Through the use of direct genetic programming via the sustained release of an exogenously delivered transcription factor RUNX2 (delivered as recombinant GET-RUNX2 protein) encapsulated in PLGA microparticles (MPs), we demonstrate that human mesenchymal stromal (stem) cells (hMSCs) can be directly fabricated into a thermo-sintered 3D bioprintable material and achieve effective osteogenic differentiation. Importantly we observed osteogenic programming of gene expression by released GET-RUNX2 (8.2-, 3.3- and 3.9-fold increases in OSX, RUNX2 and OPN expression, respectively) and calcification (von Kossa staining) in our scaffolds. The developed biodegradable PLGA/PEG paste formulation augments high-density bone development in a defect model (~2.4-fold increase in high density bone volume) and can be used to rapidly prototype clinically-sized hMSC-laden implants within minutes using mild, cytocompatible extrusion bioprinting. The ability to create mechanically strong 'cancellous bone-like’ printable implants for tissue repair that contain stem cells and controlled-release of programming factors is innovative, and will facilitate the development of novel localized delivery approaches to direct cellular behaviour for many regenerative medicine applications including those for personalized bone repair.
AUTHOR Diloksumpan, Paweena and Bolaños, Rafael Vindas and Cokelaere, Stefan and Pouran, Behdad and de Grauw, Janny and van Rijen, Mattie and van Weeren, René and Levato, Riccardo and Malda, Jos
Title Orthotopic Bone Regeneration within 3D Printed Bioceramic Scaffolds with Region-Dependent Porosity Gradients in an Equine Model [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Advanced Healthcare Materials
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Abstract The clinical translation of three-dimensionally printed bioceramic scaffolds with tailored architectures holds great promise toward the regeneration of bone to heal critical-size defects. Herein, the long-term in vivo performance of printed hydrogel-ceramic composites made of methacrylated-oligocaprolactone-poloxamer and low-temperature self-setting calcium-phosphates is assessed in a large animal model. Scaffolds printed with different internal architectures, displaying either a designed porosity gradient or a constant pore distribution, are implanted in equine tuber coxae critical size defects. Bone ingrowth is challenged and facilitated only from one direction via encasing the bioceramic in a polycaprolactone shell. After 7 months, total new bone volume and scaffold degradation are significantly greater in structures with constant porosity. Interestingly, gradient scaffolds show lower extent of remodeling and regeneration even in areas having the same porosity as the constant scaffolds. Low regeneration in distal regions from the interface with native bone impairs ossification in proximal regions of the construct, suggesting that anisotropic architectures modulate the cross-talk between distant cells within critical-size defects. The study provides key information on how engineered architectural patterns impact osteoregeneration in vivo, and also indicates the equine tuber coxae as promising orthotopic model for studying materials stimulating bone formation.
AUTHOR Sanz-Fraile, Hector and Amorós, Susana and Mendizabal, Irene Isabel and Gálvez-Montón, Carolina and Prat-Vidal, Cristina and Bayés-Genís, Antoni and Navajas, Daniel and Farre, Ramon and Otero, Jorge
Title Silk-reinforced Collagen Hydrogels with Raised Multiscale Stiffness for Mesenchymal Cells 3D Culture [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Tissue Engineering Part A
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Type I collagen hydrogels are of high interest in tissue engineering. With the evolution of 3D bioprinting technologies, a high number of collagen-based scaffolds have been reported for the development of 3D cell cultures. A recent proposal was to mix collagen with silk fibroin derived from Bombyx Mori silkworm. Nevertheless, due to the difficulties in the preparation and the characteristics of the protein, several problems like phase separation and collagen denaturation appears during the procedure. Therefore, the common solution is to diminish the concentration of collagen although in that way the most biologically relevant component is reduced. In the present work, we present a new, simple and effective method to develop a collagen-silk hybrid hydrogel with high collagen concentration and with increased stiffness approaching that of natural tissues, which could be of high interest for the development of cardiac patches for myocardial regeneration and for preconditioning of mesenchymal stem cells to improve their therapeutic potential. Sericin in the silk was preserved by using a physical solubilizing procedure which results in a preserved fibrous structure of type I collagen, as shown by ultrastructural imaging. The macro- and micromechanical properties of the hybrid hydrogels measured by tensile stretch and Atomic Force Microscopy respectively, showed a more than two-fold stiffening as compared with collagen-only hydrogels. Rheological measurements showed improved printability properties for the developed biomaterial. The suitability of the hydrogels for 3D cell culture was assessed by 3D bioprinting bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells cultured within the scaffolds. The result was a biomaterial with improved printability characteristics that better resembled the mechanical properties of natural soft tissues while preserving biocompatibility owing to the high concentration of collagen.
AUTHOR Suntornnond, R. and Tan, E. Y. S. and An, J. and Chua, C. K.
Title A highly printable and biocompatible hydrogel composite for direct printing of soft and perfusable vasculature-like structures [Abstract]
Year 2017
Journal/Proceedings Scientific Reports
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Vascularization is one major obstacle in bioprinting and tissue engineering. In order to create thick tissues or organs that can function like original body parts, the presence of a perfusable vascular system is essential. However, it is challenging to bioprint a hydrogel-based three-dimensional vasculature-like structure in a single step. In this paper, we report a new hydrogel-based composite that offers impressive printability, shape integrity, and biocompatibility for 3D bioprinting of a perfusable complex vasculature-like structure. The hydrogel composite can be used on a non-liquid platform and is printable at human body temperature. Moreover, the hydrogel composite supports both cell proliferation and cell differentiation. Our results represent a potentially new vascularization strategy for 3D bioprinting and tissue engineering.
AUTHOR Ribeiro, Alexandre and Blokzijl, Maarten Michiel and Levato, Riccardo and Visser, Claas Willem and Castilho, Miguel and Hennink, Wim E. and Vermonden, Tina and Malda, Jos
Title Assessing bioink shape fidelity to aid material development in 3D bioprinting [Abstract]
Year 2017
Journal/Proceedings Biofabrication
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Abstract During extrusion-based bioprinting, the deposited bioink filaments are subjected to deformations, such as collapse of overhanging filaments, which compromises the ability to stack several layers of bioink, and fusion between adjacent filaments, which compromises the resolution and maintenance of a desired pore structure. When developing new bioinks, approaches to assess their shape fidelity after printing would be beneficial to evaluate the degree of deformation of the deposited filament and to estimate how similar the final printed construct would be to the design. However, shape fidelity has been prevalently assessed qualitatively through visual inspection after printing, hampering the direct comparison of the printability of different bioinks. In this technical note, we propose a quantitative evaluation for shape fidelity of bioinks based on testing the filament collapse on overhanging structures and the filament fusion of parallel printed strands. Both tests were applied on a hydrogel platform based on poloxamer 407 and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) blends, providing a library of hydrogels with different yield stresses. The presented approach is an easy way to assess bioink shape fidelity, applicable to any filament-based bioprinting system and able to quantitatively evaluate this aspect of printability , based on the degree of deformation of the printed filament. In addition, we built a simple theoretical model that relates filament collapse with bioink yield stress. The results of both shape fidelity tests underline the role of yield stress as one of the parameters influencing the printability of a bioink. The presented quantitative evaluation will allow for reproducible comparisons between different bioink platforms.
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
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 Levato, Riccardo and Webb, William R. and Otto, Iris A. and Mensinga, Anneloes and Zhang, Yadan and van Rijen, Mattie and van Weeren, René and Khan, Ilyas M. and Malda, Jos
Title The bio in the ink: cartilage regeneration with bioprintable hydrogels and articular cartilage-derived progenitor cells
Year 2017
Journal/Proceedings Acta Biomaterialia
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DOI/URL URL
AUTHOR Suntornnond, Ratima and Tan, Edgar Yong Sheng and An, Jia and Chua, Chee Kai
Title A Mathematical Model on the Resolution of Extrusion Bioprinting for the Development of New Bioinks [Abstract]
Year 2016
Journal/Proceedings Materials
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DOI/URL URL DOI
Abstract
Pneumatic extrusion-based bioprinting is a recent and interesting technology that is very useful for biomedical applications. However, many process parameters in the bioprinter need to be fully understood in order to print at an adequate resolution. In this paper, a simple yet accurate mathematical model to predict the printed width of a continuous hydrogel line is proposed, in which the resolution is expressed as a function of nozzle size, pressure, and printing speed. A thermo-responsive hydrogel, pluronic F127, is used to validate the model predictions. This model could provide a platform for future correlation studies on pneumatic extrusion-based bioprinting as well as for developing new bioink formulations.
AUTHOR Melchels, Ferry P. W. and Blokzijl, Maarten M. and Levato, Riccardo and Peiffer, Quentin C. and de Ruijter, Myl{`{e}}ne and Hennink, Wim E. and Vermonden, Tina and Malda, Jos
Title Hydrogel-based reinforcement of 3D bioprinted constructs [Abstract]
Year 2016
Journal/Proceedings Biofabrication
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DOI/URL URL
Abstract
Progress within the field of biofabrication is hindered by a lack of suitable hydrogel formulations. Here, we present a novel approach based on a hybrid printing technique to create cellularized 3D printed constructs. The hybrid bioprinting strategy combines a reinforcing gel for mechanical support with a bioink to provide a cytocompatible environment. In comparison with thermoplastics such as IMG [http://ej.iop.org/images/1758-5090/8/3/035004/bfaa2f97ieqn1.gif] {$epsilon $} -polycaprolactone, the hydrogel-based reinforcing gel platform enables printing at cell-friendly temperatures, targets the bioprinting of softer tissues and allows for improved control over degradation kinetics. We prepared amphiphilic macromonomers based on poloxamer that form hydrolysable, covalently cross-linked polymer networks. Dissolved at a concentration of 28.6%w/w in water, it functions as reinforcing gel, while a 5%w/w gelatin-methacryloyl based gel is utilized as bioink. This strategy allows for the creation of complex structures, where the bioink provides a cytocompatible environment for encapsulated cells. Cell viability of equine chondrocytes encapsulated within printed constructs remained largely unaffected by the printing process. The versatility of the system is further demonstrated by the ability to tune the stiffness of printed constructs between 138 and 263 kPa, as well as to tailor the degradation kinetics of the reinforcing gel from several weeks up to more than a year.
AUTHOR M{"{u}}ller, Michael and Becher, Jana and Schnabelrauch, Matthias and Zenobi-Wong, Marcy
Title Nanostructured Pluronic hydrogels as bioinks for 3D bioprinting [Abstract]
Year 2015
Journal/Proceedings Biofabrication
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DOI/URL URL
Abstract
Bioprinting is an emerging technology in the field of tissue engineering as it allows the precise positioning of biologically relevant materials in 3D, which more resembles the native tissue in our body than current homogenous, bulk approaches. There is however a lack of materials to be used with this technology and materials such as the block copolymer Pluronic have good printing properties but do not allow long-term cell culture. Here we present an approach called nanostructuring to increase the biocompatibility of Pluronic gels at printable concentrations. By mixing acrylated with unmodified Pluronic F127 it was possible to maintain the excellent printing properties of Pluronic and to create stable gels via UV crosslinking. By subsequent elution of the unmodified Pluronic from the crosslinked network we were able to increase the cell viability of encapsulated chondrocytes at day 14 from 62% for a pure acrylated Pluronic hydrogel to 86% for a nanostructured hydrogel. The mixed Pluronic gels also showed good printability when cells where included in the bioink. The nanostructured gels were, with a compressive modulus of 1.42 kPa, mechanically weak, but we were able to increase the mechanical properties by the addition of methacrylated hyaluronic acid. Our nanostructuring approach enables Pluronic hydrogels to have the desired set of properties in all stages of the bioprinting process.
AUTHOR M{"{u}}ller, Michael and Becher, Jana and Schnabelrauch, Matthias and Zenobi-Wong, Marcy
Title Printing thermoresponsive reverse molds for the creation of patterned two-component hydrogels for 3D cell culture. [Abstract]
Year 2013
Journal/Proceedings Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE
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DOI/URL URL
Abstract
Bioprinting is an emerging technology that has its origins in the rapid prototyping industry. The different printing processes can be divided into contact bioprinting(1-4) (extrusion, dip pen and soft lithography), contactless bioprinting(5-7) (laser forward transfer, ink-jet deposition) and laser based techniques such as two photon photopolymerization(8). It can be used for many applications such as tissue engineering(9-13), biosensor microfabrication(14-16) and as a tool to answer basic biological questions such as influences of co-culturing of different cell types(17). Unlike common photolithographic or soft-lithographic methods, extrusion bioprinting has the advantage that it does not require a separate mask or stamp. Using CAD software, the design of the structure can quickly be changed and adjusted according to the requirements of the operator. This makes bioprinting more flexible than lithography-based approaches. Here we demonstrate the printing of a sacrificial mold to create a multi-material 3D structure using an array of pillars within a hydrogel as an example. These pillars could represent hollow structures for a vascular network or the tubes within a nerve guide conduit. The material chosen for the sacrificial mold was poloxamer 407, a thermoresponsive polymer with excellent printing properties which is liquid at 4 degrees C and a solid above its gelation temperature ~20 degrees C for 24.5% w/v solutions(18). This property allows the poloxamer-based sacrificial mold to be eluted on demand and has advantages over the slow dissolution of a solid material especially for narrow geometries. Poloxamer was printed on microscope glass slides to create the sacrificial mold. Agarose was pipetted into the mold and cooled until gelation. After elution of the poloxamer in ice cold water, the voids in the agarose mold were filled with alginate methacrylate spiked with FITC labeled fibrinogen. The filled voids were then cross-linked with UV and the construct was imaged with an epi-fluorescence microscope.