Article

Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 34, Issue 9, pp 1429-1441

First online:

Stereolithography of Three-Dimensional Bioactive Poly(Ethylene Glycol) Constructs with Encapsulated Cells

  • Karina ArcauteAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, W. M. Keck Border Biomedical Manufacturing and Engineering Laboratory, University of Texas at El Paso
  • , Brenda K. MannAffiliated withDepartment of Bioengineering, University of Utah
  • , Ryan B. WickerAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, W. M. Keck Border Biomedical Manufacturing and Engineering Laboratory, University of Texas at El Paso Email author 

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Stereolithography (SL) was used to fabricate complex 3-D poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels. Photopolymerization experiments were performed to characterize the solutions for use in SL, where the crosslinked depth (or hydrogel thickness) was measured at different laser energies and photoinitiator (PI) concentrations for two concentrations of PEG-dimethacrylate in solution (20% and 30% (w/v)). Hydrogel thickness was a strong function of PEG concentration, PI type and concentration, and energy dosage, and these results were utilized to successfully fabricate complex hydrogel structures using SL, including structures with internal channels of various orientations and multi-material structures. Additionally, human dermal fibroblasts were encapsulated in bioactive PEG photocrosslinked in SL. Cell viability was at least 87% at 2 and 24 h following fabrication. The results presented here indicate that the use of SL and photocrosslinkable biomaterials, such as photocrosslinkable PEG, appears feasible for fabricating complex bioactive scaffolds with living cells for a variety of important tissue engineering applications.

Keywords

Photocrosslinking Hydrogels Layered manufacturing Rapid prototyping Tissue engineering Scaffold fabrication Fibroblasts