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A novel bioprinting method and system for forming hybrid tissue engineering constructs.

Biofabrication (2015-12-20)
Y Shanjani, C C Pan, L Elomaa, Y Yang
ABSTRACT

Three dimensional (3D) bioprinting is a promising approach to form tissue engineering constructs (TECs) via positioning biomaterials, growth factors, and cells with controlled spatial distribution due to its layer-by-layer manufacturing nature. Hybrid TECs composed of relatively rigid porous scaffolds for structural and mechanical integrity and soft hydrogels for cell- and growth factor-loading have a tremendous potential to tissue regeneration under mechanical loading. However, despite excessive progress in the field, the current 3D bioprinting techniques and systems fall short in integration of such soft and rigid multifunctional components. Here we present a novel 3D hybrid bioprinting technology (Hybprinter) and its capability enabling integration of soft and rigid components for TECs. Hybprinter employs digital light processing-based stereolithography (DLP-SLA) and molten material extrusion techniques for soft and rigid materials, respectively. In this study, poly-ethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA) and poly-(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) were used as a model material for soft hydrogel and rigid scaffold, respectively. It was shown that geometrical accuracy, swelling ratio and mechanical properties of the hydrogel component can be tailored by DLP-SLA module. We have demonstrated the printability of variety of complex hybrid construct designs using Hybprinter technology and characterized the mechanical properties and functionality of such constructs. The compressive mechanical stiffness of a hybrid construct (90% hydrogel) was significantly higher than hydrogel itself (∼6 MPa versus 100 kPa). In addition, viability of cells incorporated within the bioprinted hybrid constructs was determined approximately 90%. Furthermore, a functionality of a hybrid construct composed of porous scaffold with an embedded hydrogel conduit was characterized for vascularized tissue engineering applications. High material diffusion and high cell viability in about 2.5 mm distance surrounding the conduit indicated that culture media effectively diffused through the conduit and fed the cells. The results suggest that the developed technology is potent to form functional TECs composed of rigid and soft biomaterials.

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Sigma-Aldrich
Dimethyl phenylphosphonite, 97%