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Open AccessArticle

Two-Photon Polymerized Poly(2-Ethyl-2-Oxazoline) Hydrogel 3D Microstructures with Tunable Mechanical Properties for Tissue Engineering

1
Institute for Bioprocessing and Analytical Measurement Techniques e.V., Rosenhof, 37308 Heilbad Heiligenstadt, Germany
2
Laboratory of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry (IOMC), Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Humboldtstrasse 10, 07743 Jena, Germany
3
Jena Center for Soft Matter (JCSM), Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Philosophenweg 7, 07743 Jena, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Fawaz Aldabbagh
Molecules 2020, 25(21), 5066; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25215066
Received: 5 October 2020 / Revised: 23 October 2020 / Accepted: 26 October 2020 / Published: 31 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Scaffolds for Biomedical Applications 2020)
The main task of tissue engineering (TE) is to reproduce, replicate, and mimic all kinds of tissues in the human body. Nowadays, it has been proven useful in TE to mimic the natural extracellular matrix (ECM) by an artificial ECM (scaffold) based on synthetic or natural biomaterials to regenerate the physiological tissue/organ architecture and function. Hydrogels have gained interest in the TE community because of their ability to absorb water similar to physiological tissues, thus mechanically simulating the ECM. In this work, we present a novel hydrogel platform based on poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline)s, which can be processed to 3D microstructures via two-photon polymerization (2PP) with tunable mechanical properties using monomers and crosslinker with different degrees of polymerization (DP) for future applications in TE. The ideal parameters (laser power and writing speed) for optimal polymerization via 2PP were obtained using a specially developed evaluation method in which the obtained structures were binarized and compared to the computer-aided design (CAD) model. This evaluation was performed for each composition. We found that it was possible to tune the mechanical properties not only by application of different laser parameters but also by mixing poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline)s with different chain lengths and variation of the crosslink density. In addition, the swelling behavior of different fabricated hydrogels were investigated. To gain more insight into the viscoelastic behavior of different fabricated materials, stress relaxation tests via nanoindentation experiments were performed. These new hydrogels can be processed to 3D microstructures with high structural integrity using optimal laser parameter settings, opening a wide range of application properties in TE for this material platform. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogel; poly(2-oxazoline); two-photon polymerization; mechanical properties; tissue engineering; 3D scaffolds hydrogel; poly(2-oxazoline); two-photon polymerization; mechanical properties; tissue engineering; 3D scaffolds
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MDPI and ACS Style

Czich, S.; Wloka, T.; Rothe, H.; Rost, J.; Penzold, F.; Kleinsteuber, M.; Gottschaldt, M.; Schubert, U.S.; Liefeith, K. Two-Photon Polymerized Poly(2-Ethyl-2-Oxazoline) Hydrogel 3D Microstructures with Tunable Mechanical Properties for Tissue Engineering. Molecules 2020, 25, 5066.

AMA Style

Czich S, Wloka T, Rothe H, Rost J, Penzold F, Kleinsteuber M, Gottschaldt M, Schubert US, Liefeith K. Two-Photon Polymerized Poly(2-Ethyl-2-Oxazoline) Hydrogel 3D Microstructures with Tunable Mechanical Properties for Tissue Engineering. Molecules. 2020; 25(21):5066.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Czich, Steffen; Wloka, Thomas; Rothe, Holger; Rost, Jürgen; Penzold, Felix; Kleinsteuber, Maximilian; Gottschaldt, Michael; Schubert, Ulrich S.; Liefeith, Klaus. 2020. "Two-Photon Polymerized Poly(2-Ethyl-2-Oxazoline) Hydrogel 3D Microstructures with Tunable Mechanical Properties for Tissue Engineering" Molecules 25, no. 21: 5066.

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