Plant-based hydrogels have attracted great attention in biomedical fields since they are biocompatible and based on natural, sustainable, cost-effective, and widely accessible sources. Here, we introduced new viscoelastic bio-inks composed of quince seed mucilage and cellulose nanofibrils (QSM/CNF) easily extruded into 3D lattice structures through direct ink writing in ambient conditions. The QSM/CNF inks enabled precise control on printing fidelity where CNF endowed objects with shape stability after freeze-drying and with suitable porosity, water uptake capacity, and mechanical strength. The compressive and elastic moduli of samples produced at the highest CNF content were both increased by ~100% (from 5.1 ± 0.2 kPa and 32 ± 1 kPa to 10.7 ± 0.5 and 64 ± 2 kPa, respectively). These values ideally matched those reported for soft tissues; accordingly, the cell compatibility of the printed samples was evaluated against HepG2 cells (human liver cancer). The results confirmed the 3D hydrogels as being non-cytotoxic and suitable to support attachment, survival, and proliferation of the cells. All in all, the newly developed inks allowed sustainable 3D bio-hydrogels fitting the requirements as scaffolds for soft tissue engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1098-1107
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Early online date16 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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