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Producing hydrogels capable of mimicking the biomechanics of soft tissue remains a challenge. We explore the potential of plant-based hydrogels as polysaccharide tragacanth gum and antioxidant lignin nanoparticles in bioactive multicomponent hydrogels for tissue engineering. These natural components are combined with TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibrils, a material with known shear thinning behavior. Hydrogels presented tragacanth gum (TG) concentration-dependent rheological properties suitable for extrusion 3D printing. TG enhanced the swelling capacity up to 645% and the degradation rate up to 1.3%/day for hydrogels containing 75% of TG. Young's moduli of the hydrogels varied from 5.0 to 11.6 kPa and were comparable to soft tissues like skin and muscle. In vitro cell viability assays revealed that the scaffolds were non-toxic and promoted proliferation of hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells. Therefore, the plant-based hydrogels designed in this work have a significant potential for tissue engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-704
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Early online date4 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Tragacanth gum
  • Hydrogels
  • Cellulose nanofibrils
  • Lignin nanoparticles (LNP)
  • Bioprinting
  • Tissue engineering


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