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Open AccessArticle

A Methylcellulose Hydrogel as Support for 3D Plotting of Complex Shaped Calcium Phosphate Scaffolds

Centre for Translational Bone, Joint and Soft Tissue Research, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus and Faculty of Medicine, Technische Universität Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
Institute of Fluid Mechanics, Chair of Magnetofluiddynamics, Measuring and Automation Technology, Technische Universität Dresden, 01069 Dresden, Germany
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 July 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 9 August 2018 / Published: 11 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Hydrogels for (Bio)printing Applications)
3D plotting is an additive manufacturing technology enabling biofabrication, thus the integration of cells or biologically sensitive proteins or growth factors into the manufacturing process. However, most (bio-)inks developed for 3D plotting were not shown to be processed into clinically relevant geometries comprising critical overhangs and cavities, which would collapse without a sufficient support material. Herein, we have developed a support hydrogel ink based on methylcellulose (mc), which is able to act as support as long as the co-plotted main structure is not stable. Therefore, 6 w/v %, 8 w/v % and 10 w/v % mc were allowed to swell in water, resulting in viscous inks, which were characterized for their rheological and extrusion properties. The successful usage of 10 w/v % mc as support ink was proven by multichannel plotting of the support together with a plottable calcium phosphate cement (CPC) acting as main structure. CPC scaffolds displaying critical overhangs or a large central cavity could be plotted accurately with the newly developed mc support ink. The dissolution properties of mc allowed complete removal of the gel without residuals, once CPC setting was finished. Finally, we fabricated a scaphoid bone model by computed tomography data acquisition and co-extrusion of CPC and the mc support hydrogel. View Full-Text
Keywords: calcium phosphate cement; methylcellulose; 3D plotting; support; hydroxyapatite calcium phosphate cement; methylcellulose; 3D plotting; support; hydroxyapatite
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ahlfeld, T.; Köhler, T.; Czichy, C.; Lode, A.; Gelinsky, M. A Methylcellulose Hydrogel as Support for 3D Plotting of Complex Shaped Calcium Phosphate Scaffolds. Gels 2018, 4, 68.

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