Gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) has been increasingly considered as an important bioink material due to its tailorable mechanical properties, good biocompatibility, and ability to be photopolymerized in situ as well as printability. GelMA can be classified into two types: type A GelMA (a product from acid treatment) and type B GelMA (a product from alkali treatment). In current literature, there is little research on the comparison of type A GelMA and type B GelMA in terms of synthesis, rheological properties, and printability for bioink applications. Here, we report the synthesis, rheological properties, and printability of types A and B GelMA. Types A and B GelMA samples with different degrees of substitution (DS) were prepared in a controllable manner by a time-lapse loading method of methacrylic anhydride (MAA) and different feed ratios of MAA to gelatin. Type B GelMA tended to have a slightly higher DS compared to type A GelMA, especially in a lower feed ratio of MAA to gelatin. All the type A and type B GelMA solutions with different DS exhibited shear thinning behaviours at 37 °C. However, only GelMA with a high DS had an easy-to-extrude feature at room temperature. The cell-laden printed constructs of types A and B GelMA at 20% w
showed around 75% cell viability.
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