High-resolution 3D printing of xanthan gum/nanocellulose bio-inks

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The current study provides a comprehensive rheology study and a survey on direct ink writing of xanthan gum/cellulose nanocrystal (XG/CNC) bio-inks for developing 3D geometries that mimic soft tissue engineering scaffolds' physical and mechanical properties. The presence of CNC was found to be a critical prerequisite for the printability of XG bio-inks; accordingly, the hybrid XG/CNC bio-inks revealed the excellent viscoelastic properties that enabled precise control of hydrogel shaping and printing of lattice structures composed of up to eleven layers with high fidelity and fair resolution without any deformation after printing. The lyophilized 3D scaffolds presented a porous structure with open and interconnected pores and a porosity higher than 70%, vital features for tissue engineering scaffolds. Moreover, they showed a relatively high swelling of approximately 11 g/g, facilitating oxygen and nutrient exchange. Furthermore, the elastic and compressive moduli of the scaffolds that enhanced significantly upon increasing CNC content were in the range of a few kPa, similar to soft tissues. Finally, no significant cell cytotoxicity was observed against human liver cancer cells (HepG2), highlighting the potential of these developed 3D printed scaffolds for soft tissue engineering applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2020-2031
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Issue numberB
Early online date13 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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