Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 34, Issue 9, pp 1429–1441

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


DOI: 10.1007/s10439-006-9156-y

Cite this article as:
Arcaute, K., Mann, B.K. & Wicker, R.B. Ann Biomed Eng (2006) 34: 1429. doi:10.1007/s10439-006-9156-y

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.


PhotocrosslinkingHydrogelsLayered manufacturingRapid prototypingTissue engineeringScaffold fabricationFibroblasts



Penetration depth


Critical exposure (energy/area)


Average energy exposure (energy/area)


Power of the laser


Speed of the laser


Beam diameter


Initial weight, weight of the sample immediately after fabrication


Dry weight, weight of the sample after the excess water had evaporated


Swollen weight, weight of the sample after allowed to swell in distilled water


Re-dry weight, weight of the sample after allowed to dry following swelling

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karina Arcaute
    • 1
  • Brenda K. Mann
    • 2
  • Ryan B. Wicker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering, W. M. Keck Border Biomedical Manufacturing and Engineering LaboratoryUniversity of Texas at El PasoEl PasoUSA
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA