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Open AccessArticle

Polyvinylpyrrolidone-Based Bio-Ink Improves Cell Viability and Homogeneity during Drop-On-Demand Printing

Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP), School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), Agency for Science, Technology and Research, 73 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637662, Singapore
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nicole Zander
Materials 2017, 10(2), 190;
Received: 14 January 2017 / Revised: 9 February 2017 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 16 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing for Biomedical Engineering)
Drop-on-demand (DOD) bioprinting has attracted huge attention for numerous biological applications due to its precise control over material volume and deposition pattern in a contactless printing approach. 3D bioprinting is still an emerging field and more work is required to improve the viability and homogeneity of printed cells during the printing process. Here, a general purpose bio-ink was developed using polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) macromolecules. Different PVP-based bio-inks (0%–3% w/v) were prepared and evaluated for their printability; the short-term and long-term viability of the printed cells were first investigated. The Z value of a bio-ink determines its printability; it is the inverse of the Ohnesorge number (Oh), which is the ratio between the Reynolds number and a square root of the Weber number, and is independent of the bio-ink velocity. The viability of printed cells is dependent on the Z values of the bio-inks; the results indicated that the cells can be printed without any significant impairment using a bio-ink with a threshold Z value of ≤9.30 (2% and 2.5% w/v). Next, the cell output was evaluated over a period of 30 min. The results indicated that PVP molecules mitigate the cell adhesion and sedimentation during the printing process; the 2.5% w/v PVP bio-ink demonstrated the most consistent cell output over a period of 30 min. Hence, PVP macromolecules can play a critical role in improving the cell viability and homogeneity during the bioprinting process. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioprinting; bio-inks; drop-on-demand; 3D printing; additive manufacturing bioprinting; bio-inks; drop-on-demand; 3D printing; additive manufacturing
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Ng, W.L.; Yeong, W.Y.; Naing, M.W. Polyvinylpyrrolidone-Based Bio-Ink Improves Cell Viability and Homogeneity during Drop-On-Demand Printing. Materials 2017, 10, 190.

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