Cell oxygenation and nutrition are crucial for the viability of tissue-engineered constructs, and different alternatives are currently being developed to achieve an adequate vascularisation of the engineered tissue. One of the alternatives is the generation of channel-like patterns in a bioconstruct. Here, the formation of full-formed channels inside hydrogels by laser-induced cavitation was investigated. A near-infrared, femtosecond laser beam focused with a high numerical aperture was employed to obtain intra-volume modifications of a block of gelatine hydrogel. Characterisation of the laser-processed gelatine was carried out by optical microscopy and epifluorescence microscopy right after and 24 h after the laser process. Rheology analyses on the unprocessed gelatine blocks were conducted to better understand the cavitation mechanism taking place during the intense laser interaction. Different cavitation patterns were observed at varying dose values by changing the repetition rate and the overlap between successive pulses while keeping the laser fluence and the number of passes fixed. This way, cavitation bubble features and behaviour can be controlled to optimise the formation of intra-volume channels in the gelatine volume. Results showed that the generation of fully formed channels was linked to the formation of large non-spherical cavitation bubbles during the laser interaction at high dose and low repetition rates. In conclusion, the formation of fully formed channels was made possible with a near-infrared, femtosecond laser beam strongly focused inside gelatine hydrogel blocks through laser-induced cavitation at high dose and low repetition rates.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
The authors confirm that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article.
Novosel EC, Kleinhans C, Kluger PJ (2011) Vascularization is the key challenge in tissue engineering. Adv Drug Deliv Rev
Yuksel E, Choo J, Wettergreen M, Liebschner M (2005) Challenges in soft tissue engineering. Semin Plast Surg 19:261–270. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2005-919721
Ruprecht V, Monzo P, Ravasio A et al (2017) How cells respond to environmental cues - insights from bio-functionalized substrates. J Cell Sci 130:51–61. https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.196162
Lapointe VLS, Fernandes AT, Bell NC et al (2013) Nanoscale topography and chemistry affect embryonic stem cell self-renewal and early differentiation. Adv Healthc Mater 2:1644–1650. https://doi.org/10.1002/adhm.201200382
Mandal BB, Kundu SC (2009) Cell proliferation and migration in silk fibroin 3D scaffolds. Biomaterials 30:2956–2965. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.02.006
Rose JB, Pacelli S, El Haj AJ et al (2014) Gelatin-based materials in ocular tissue engineering. Materials (Basel) 7:3106–3135. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma7043106
Hoque M, Nuge T, Yeow T et al (2015) Gelatin based scaffolds for tissue engineering-a review. Polym Res J 9:15
Parenteau-Bareil R, Gauvin R, Berthod F (2010) Collagen-based biomaterials for tissue engineering applications. Materials (Basel) 3:1863–1887. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma3031863
Ozbolat IT (2015) Bioprinting scale-up tissue and organ constructs for transplantation. Trends Biotechnol 33:395–400. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tibtech.2015.04.005
Murphy SV, Atala A (2014) 3D bioprinting of tissues and organs. Nat Biotechnol 32:773–785. https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt.2958
Bajaj P, Schweller RM, Khademhosseini A et al (2014) 3D biofabrication strategies for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Annu Rev Biomed Eng 16:247–276. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-bioeng-071813-105155
Lubatschowski H, Maatz G, Heisterkamp A et al (2000) Application of ultrashort laser pulses for intrastromal refractive surgery. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 238:33–39. https://doi.org/10.1007/s004170050006
Vogel A, Noack J, Hüttman G, Paltauf G (2005) Mechanisms of femtosecond laser nanosurgery of cells and tissues. Appl. Phys. B Lasers Opt
Applegate MB, Coburn J, Partlow BP et al (2015) Laser-based three-dimensional multiscale micropatterning of biocompatible hydrogels for customized tissue engineering scaffolds. Proc Natl Acad Sci. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1509405112
Hribar KC, Meggs K, Liu J et al (2015) Three-dimensional direct cell patterning in collagen hydrogels with near-infrared femtosecond laser. Sci Rep. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep17203
Smith NI, Fujita K, Nakamura O, Kawata S (2001) Three-dimensional subsurface microprocessing of collagen by ultrashort laser pulses. Appl Phys Lett. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.1347392
Gattass RR, Mazur E (2008) Femtosecond laser micromachining in transparent materials. Nat Photonics 2:219–225. https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2008.48
Itoh K, Watanabe W, Nolte S, Schaffer CB (2006) Ultrafast processes for bulk modification of transparent materials. MRS Bull 31:620–625. https://doi.org/10.1557/mrs2006.159
Hemmer E, Benayas A, Légaré F, Vetrone F (2016) Exploiting the biological windows: current perspectives on fluorescent bioprobes emitting above 1000 nm. Nanoscale Horizons 1:168–184. https://doi.org/10.1039/c5nh00073d
Oujja M, Pérez S, Fadeeva E et al (2009) Three dimensional microstructuring of biopolymers by femtosecond laser irradiation. Appl Phys Lett 95. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3274127
Gaspard S, Forster M, Huber C et al (2008) Femtosecond laser processing of biopolymers at high repetition rate. Phys Chem Chem Phys 10:6174–6181. https://doi.org/10.1039/b807870j
Gaspard S, Oujja M, Abrusci C et al (2008) Laser induced foaming and chemical modifications of gelatine films. J Photochem Photobiol A Chem 193:187–192. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphotochem.2007.06.024
Pradhan DS, Keller KA, Sperduto SJH (2017) Fundamentals of laser-based hydrogel degradation and applications in cell and tissue engineering. Adv Healthc Mater. https://doi.org/10.1002/adhm.201700681
Taroni P, Bassi A, Comelli D et al (2009) Diffuse optical spectroscopy of breast tissue extended to 1100 nm. J Biomed Opt 14:054030. https://doi.org/10.1117/1.3251051
Verit I, RIGOTHIER C, GEMINI L, et al (2019) Biofabrication of a vascular capillary by ultra-short laser pulses
Vogel A, Noack J, Nahen K et al (1999) Energy balance of optical breakdown in water at nanosecond to femtosecond time scales. Appl Phys B Lasers Opt 68:271–280. https://doi.org/10.1007/s003400050617
Vogel A, Venugopalan V (2003) Mechanisms of pulsed laser ablation of biological tissues. Chem Rev. https://doi.org/10.1021/cr010379n
Linz N, Freidank S, Liang XX, Vogel A (2016) Wavelength dependence of femtosecond laser-induced breakdown in water and implications for laser surgery. Phys Rev B. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.94.024113
Juhasz T, Kastis GA, Suárez C et al (1996) Time-resolved observations of shock waves and cavitation bubbles generated by femtosecond laser pulses in corneal tissue and water. Lasers Surg Med 19:23–31. https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1096-9101(1996)19:1<23::AID-LSM4>3.3.CO;2-2
Loesel FH, Niemz MH, Bille JF, Juhasz T (1996) Laser-induced optical breakdown on hard and soft tissues and its dependence on the pulse duration: experiment and model. IEEE J Quantum Electron. https://doi.org/10.1109/3.538774
Centrale É, Université DL, Bernard C (2015) Caractérisation optique et acoustique d ’ une bulle générée par focalisation laser Résumé : Abstract
Kang W, Raphael M (2018) Acceleration-induced pressure gradients and cavitation in soft biomaterials. Sci Rep 8:2–13. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-34085-4
Kang W, Adnan A, O’Shaughnessy T, Bagchi A (2018) Cavitation nucleation in gelatin: experiment and mechanism. Acta Biomater 67:295–306. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2017.11.030
The authors would like to thank Dr. Béatrice L’Azou and Dr. Gilles Lemagnen (LTPIB laboratory, associated Professor at Bordeaux University) for support with the rheology analyses and the interesting discussions.
The French National Association of Research and Technology (Grant no2017/0579) provided support and funding.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Vérit, I., Gemini, L., Fricain, JC. et al. Intra-volume processing of gelatine hydrogel by femtosecond laser-induced cavitation. Lasers Med Sci 36, 197–206 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10103-020-03081-4
- Femtosecond laser-gelatine interaction
- Laser-induced cavitation
- Laser-induced intravolumique channels