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Open AccessArticle

A Facile Method to Fabricate Anisotropic Extracellular Matrix with 3D Printing Topological Microfibers

by Zhen Gu 1,2,†, Zili Gao 3,†, Wenli Liu 3, Yongqiang Wen 1 and Qi Gu 3,4,*
1
School of Chemistry and Biological Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
2
CAS Key Laboratory of Bio-inspired Materials and Interfacial Science, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Membrane Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
4
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Both authors contributed equally to this work.
Materials 2019, 12(23), 3944; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12233944
Received: 31 October 2019 / Revised: 18 November 2019 / Accepted: 21 November 2019 / Published: 28 November 2019
Natural tissues and organs have different requirements regarding the mechanical characteristics of response. It is still a challenge to achieve biomaterials with anisotropic mechanical properties using an extracellular matrix with biological activity. We have improved the ductility and modulus of the gelatin matrix using 3D printed gelatin microfibers with different concentrations and topologies and, at the same, time achieved anisotropic mechanical properties. We successfully printed flat microfibers using partially cross-linked gelatin. We modified the 10% (w/v) gelatin matrix with microfibers consisting of a gelatin concentration of 14% (w/v), increasing the modulus to about three times and the elongation at break by 39% in parallel with the fiber direction. At the same time, it is found that the microfiber topology can effectively change the matrix ductility, and changing the modulus of the gelatin used in the microfiber can effectively change the matrix modulus. These findings provide a simple method for obtaining active biological materials that are closer to a physiological environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D printing; anisotropic extracellular matrix; microfibers; strength 3D printing; anisotropic extracellular matrix; microfibers; strength
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gu, Z.; Gao, Z.; Liu, W.; Wen, Y.; Gu, Q. A Facile Method to Fabricate Anisotropic Extracellular Matrix with 3D Printing Topological Microfibers. Materials 2019, 12, 3944.

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