Alginate Sulfate–Nanocellulose Bioinks for Cartilage Bioprinting Applications
One of the challenges of bioprinting is to identify bioinks which support cell growth, tissue maturation, and ultimately the formation of functional grafts for use in regenerative medicine. The influence of this new biofabrication technology on biology of living cells, however, is still being evaluated. Recently we have identified a mitogenic hydrogel system based on alginate sulfate which potently supports chondrocyte phenotype, but is not printable due to its rheological properties (no yield point). To convert alginate sulfate to a printable bioink, it was combined with nanocellulose, which has been shown to possess very good printability. The alginate sulfate/nanocellulose ink showed good printing properties and the non-printed bioink material promoted cell spreading, proliferation, and collagen II synthesis by the encapsulated cells. When the bioink was printed, the biological performance of the cells was highly dependent on the nozzle geometry. Cell spreading properties were maintained with the lowest extrusion pressure and shear stress. However, extruding the alginate sulfate/nanocellulose bioink and chondrocytes significantly compromised cell proliferation, particularly when using small diameter nozzles and valves.
KeywordsBioprinting Nanocellulose Alginate sulfate Cartilage tissue engineering
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