Physiological pH-dependent gelation for 3D printing based on the phase separation of gelatin and oxidized dextran

Journal: Chemical Communications

Published: 2017-12-05

DOI: 10.1039/c7cc08225h

Affiliations: 3

Authors: 9

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Research Highlight

Choosing gel hardening time makes 3D bioprinting easier

© Arno Masse/Cultura/Getty

© Arno Masse/Cultura/Getty

Researchers have developed a gel optimized for handling under physiological conditions to facilitate 3D bioprinting.

Hydrogels, or water-based gels, are attractive 3D bioprinting tools for surgery because of their similarity to soft biological tissue, providing mechanical support and encapsulating cells in a well-hydrated environment. Realizing their potential calls for hydrogels that can be dispensed from a single nozzle and will remain malleable throughout surgery, which may last for an hour or more, and then spontaneously harden once the procedure is over.

Researchers at the East China University of Science and Technology have developed a hydrogel which meets these criteria. It uses gelatin and dextran as gelling agents, and since the interaction between the two depends on pH, the gelling time can be adjusted to take minutes or hours. While filaments printed using gelatin collapsed, those made using the new formulation maintained their structure and kept encapsulated cells viable for days.

Supported content

  1. Chemical Communications 53, 13023-13026 (2017). doi: 10.1039/c7cc08225h
Institutions Share
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Functional Materials Chemistry, ECUST, China 0.56
State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, ECUST, China 0.22
East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST), China 0.22