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Polymers 2018, 10(6), 664;

Preparation and Properties of 3D Printed Alginate–Chitosan Polyion Complex Hydrogels for Tissue Engineering

School of Medicine, South China University of Technology, 382 Outer Ring Rd, Guangzhou 510006, China
National Engineering Research Center for Tissue Restoration and Reconstruction, South China University of Technology, 382 Outer Ring Rd, Guangzhou 510006, China
School of Material Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, 381 Wushan Rd, Guangzhou 510641, China
Guangdong General Hospital, 106 Zhongshan Second Rd, Guangzhou 510080, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 9 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft Materials and Systems)
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Three-dimensional (3D) printing holds great potential for preparing sophisticated scaffolds for tissue engineering. As a result of the shear thinning properties of an alginate solution, it is often used as 3D printing ink. However, it is difficult to prepare scaffolds with complexity structure and high fidelity, because the alginate solution has a low viscosity and alginate hydrogels prepared with Ca2+ crosslinking are mechanically weak. In this work, chitosan powders were dispersed and swelled in an alginate solution, which could effectively improve the viscosity of an alginate solution by 1.5–4 times. With the increase of chitosan content, the shape fidelity of the 3D printed alginate–chitosan polyion complex (AlCh PIC) hydrogels were improved. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) photographs showed that the lateral pore structure of 3D printed hydrogels was becoming more obvious. As a result of the increased reaction ion pairs in comparison to the alginate hydrogels that were prepared with Ca2+ crosslinking, AlCh PIC hydrogels were mechanically strong, and the compression stress of hydrogels at a 90% strain could achieve 1.4 MPa without breaking. In addition, human adipose derived stem cells (hASCs) adhered to the 3D printed AlCh PIC hydrogels and proliferated with time, which indicated that the obtained hydrogels were biocompatible and could potentially be used as scaffolds for tissue engineering. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D printed hydrogels; polyion complex; alginate; chitosan 3D printed hydrogels; polyion complex; alginate; chitosan

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Liu, Q.; Li, Q.; Xu, S.; Zheng, Q.; Cao, X. Preparation and Properties of 3D Printed Alginate–Chitosan Polyion Complex Hydrogels for Tissue Engineering. Polymers 2018, 10, 664.

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