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Article

Transforming Capillary Alginate Gel (Capgel) into New 3D-Printing Biomaterial Inks

1
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32827, USA
2
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering, Tickle College of Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
3
Biionix Cluster, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32827, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Thomas B. H. Schroeder and Ximin He
Gels 2022, 8(6), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8060376
Received: 30 April 2022 / Revised: 5 June 2022 / Accepted: 7 June 2022 / Published: 14 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Transformations in Polymer Gels)
Three-dimensional (3D) printing has great potential for creating tissues and organs to meet shortfalls in transplant supply, and biomaterial inks are key components of many such approaches. There is a need for biomaterial inks that facilitate integration, infiltration, and vascularization of targeted 3D-printed structures. This study is therefore focused on creating new biomaterial inks from self-assembled capillary alginate gel (Capgel), which possesses a unique microstructure of uniform tubular channels with tunable diameters and densities. First, extrusions of Capgel through needles (0.1–0.8 mm inner diameter) were investigated. It was found that Capgel ink extrudes as slurries of fractured and entangled particles, each retaining capillary microstructures, and that extruded line widths W and particle sizes A were both functions of needle inner diameter D, specifically power-law relationships of W~D0.42 and A~D1.52, respectively. Next, various structures were successfully 3D-printed with Capgel ink, thus demonstrating that this biomaterial ink is stackable and self-supporting. To increase ink self-adherence, Capgel was coated with poly-L-lysine (PLL) to create a cationic “skin” prior to extrusion. It was hypothesized that, during extrusion of Capgel-PLL, the sheared particles fracture and thereby expose cryptic sites of negatively-charged biomaterial capable of forming new polyelectrolyte bonds with areas of the positively-charged PLL skin on neighboring entangled particles. This novel approach resulted in continuous, self-adherent extrusions that remained intact in solution. Human lung fibroblasts (HLFs) were then cultured on this ink to investigate biocompatibility. HLFs readily colonized Capgel-PLL ink and were strongly oriented by the capillary microstructures. This is the first description of successful 3D-printing with Capgel biomaterial ink as well as the first demonstration of the concept and formulation of a self-adherent Capgel-PLL biomaterial ink. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D printing; tissue engineering; alginate; gelatin; hydrogel; biomaterial ink; poly-L-lysine; polyelectrolyte complexation; scaffold; anisotropic; microgel 3D printing; tissue engineering; alginate; gelatin; hydrogel; biomaterial ink; poly-L-lysine; polyelectrolyte complexation; scaffold; anisotropic; microgel
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MDPI and ACS Style

Panarello, A.P.; Seavey, C.E.; Doshi, M.; Dickerson, A.K.; Kean, T.J.; Willenberg, B.J. Transforming Capillary Alginate Gel (Capgel) into New 3D-Printing Biomaterial Inks. Gels 2022, 8, 376. https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8060376

AMA Style

Panarello AP, Seavey CE, Doshi M, Dickerson AK, Kean TJ, Willenberg BJ. Transforming Capillary Alginate Gel (Capgel) into New 3D-Printing Biomaterial Inks. Gels. 2022; 8(6):376. https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8060376

Chicago/Turabian Style

Panarello, Andrew P., Corey E. Seavey, Mona Doshi, Andrew K. Dickerson, Thomas J. Kean, and Bradley J. Willenberg. 2022. "Transforming Capillary Alginate Gel (Capgel) into New 3D-Printing Biomaterial Inks" Gels 8, no. 6: 376. https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8060376

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