Biofabrication is revolutionizing substitute tissue manufacturing. Skeletal stem cells (SSCs) can be blended with hydrogel biomaterials and printed to form three-dimensional structures that can closely mimic tissues of interest. Our bioink formulation takes into account the potential for cell printing including a bioink nanocomposite that contains low fraction polymeric content to facilitate cell encapsulation and survival, while preserving hydrogel integrity and mechanical properties following extrusion. Clay inclusion to the nanocomposite strengthens the alginate-methylcellulose network providing a biopaste with unique shear-thinning properties that can be easily prepared under sterile conditions. SSCs can be mixed with the clay-based paste, and the resulting bioink can be printed in 3D structures ready for implantation. In this chapter, we provide the methodology for preparation, encapsulation, and printing of SSCs in a unique clay-based bioink.
Biofabrication Bioink Clay Laponite Scaffolds Bone repair Skeletal stem cell
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The authors would like to thank Prof. Michael Gelinsky (TU Dresden) for useful discussions and fruitful collaborations over the last 3 years, Prof. Shoufeng Yang (KU Leuven) for discussions and access to the extrusion bioprinter, and Dr. Stuart Lanham for useful discussions on methods. This work was supported by grants from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council UK (BB/ L00609X and BB/LO21072/1) and University of Southampton IfLS, FortisNet and Postgraduate awards to ROCO.
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