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Polymers 2019, 11(3), 569;

Formulation and Characterization of a SIS-Based Photocrosslinkable Bioink

Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering, Universidad de los Andes, Carrera 1 No. 18A-12, 111711 Bogotá, Colombia
Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, School of Engineering, Universidad de los Andes, Carrera 1 No. 18A-12, 111711 Bogotá, Colombia
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 13 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
PDF [3304 KB, uploaded 26 March 2019]


Decellularized extracellular matrices (dECMs) represent a promising alternative as a source of materials to develop scaffolds that closely mimic the native environment of cells. As a result, dECMs have attracted significant attention for their applications in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. One such application is 3D bioprinting, in which dECMs can be used to prepare bioinks with the biomimicry attributes required for regeneration purposes. Formulating bioinks is, however, challenging, due to difficulties in assuring that the printed materials match the mechanical properties of the tissue which is to be regenerated. To tackle this issue, a number of strategies have been devised, including crosslinking methods, the addition of synthetic materials as excipients, and the use of synthetic matrices for casting. We are particularly interested in extrusion-based 3D bioprinting, mainly due to the ease of rapidly conducting tests for adjusting operating conditions such that the required rheological and mechanical properties are met when using it. Here, we propose a novel bioink that consists of an acid-based precipitation of a small intestinal submucosa (SIS) dECM. The formulated bioink also relies on photocrosslinking reactions to attempt to control gelation and ultimately the mechanical properties of the extruded material. Photoinitiation was explored with the aid of varying concentrations of riboflavin (RF). Manual extrusion and rheological flow tests confirmed the printability and shear-thinning behavior of all formulations. Photocrosslinking reactions, however, failed to promote a substantial increase in gelation, which was attributed to considerable entanglement of undigested collagen molecules. As a result, pendant amine groups thought to be involved in the photo-mediated reactions remain largely inaccessible. In silico computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were implemented to determine shear stress values on the bioink along the exit of the printing nozzle. Moreover, we calculated a stability parameter as a means to estimate changes in the bioink stability during the extrusion process. Future studies should be directed toward assessing the role of temperature-induced gelation in the rheological properties of the bioink and the development of strategies to improve the efficiency of photocrosslinking processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D bioprinting; decellularized extracellular matrix; bioink formulation; riboflavin 3D bioprinting; decellularized extracellular matrix; bioink formulation; riboflavin

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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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Serna, J.A.; Florez, S.L.; Talero, V.A.; Briceño, J.C.; Muñoz-Camargo, C.; Cruz, J.C. Formulation and Characterization of a SIS-Based Photocrosslinkable Bioink. Polymers 2019, 11, 569.

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