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      Research on the printability of hydrogels in 3D bioprinting

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          Abstract

          As the biocompatible materials, hydrogels have been widely used in three- dimensional (3D) bioprinting/organ printing to load cell for tissue engineering. It is important to precisely control hydrogels deposition during printing the mimic organ structures. However, the printability of hydrogels about printing parameters is seldom addressed. In this paper, we systemically investigated the printability of hydrogels from printing lines (one dimensional, 1D structures) to printing lattices/films (two dimensional, 2D structures) and printing 3D structures with a special attention to the accurate printing. After a series of experiments, we discovered the relationships between the important factors such as air pressure, feedrate, or even printing distance and the printing quality of the expected structures. Dumbbell shape was observed in the lattice structures printing due to the hydrogel diffuses at the intersection. Collapses and fusion of adjacent layer would result in the error accumulation at Z direction which was an important fact that could cause printing failure. Finally, we successfully demonstrated a 3D printing hydrogel scaffold through harmonize with all the parameters. The cell viability after printing was compared with the casting and the results showed that our bioprinting method almost had no extra damage to the cells.

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          Most cited references 20

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          Printing and prototyping of tissues and scaffolds.

           Brian Derby (2012)
          New manufacturing technologies under the banner of rapid prototyping enable the fabrication of structures close in architecture to biological tissue. In their simplest form, these technologies allow the manufacture of scaffolds upon which cells can grow for later implantation into the body. A more exciting prospect is the printing and patterning in three dimensions of all the components that make up a tissue (cells and matrix materials) to generate structures analogous to tissues; this has been termed bioprinting. Such techniques have opened new areas of research in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
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            Organ printing: tissue spheroids as building blocks.

            Organ printing can be defined as layer-by-layer additive robotic biofabrication of three-dimensional functional living macrotissues and organ constructs using tissue spheroids as building blocks. The microtissues and tissue spheroids are living materials with certain measurable, evolving and potentially controllable composition, material and biological properties. Closely placed tissue spheroids undergo tissue fusion - a process that represents a fundamental biological and biophysical principle of developmental biology-inspired directed tissue self-assembly. It is possible to engineer small segments of an intraorgan branched vascular tree by using solid and lumenized vascular tissue spheroids. Organ printing could dramatically enhance and transform the field of tissue engineering by enabling large-scale industrial robotic biofabrication of living human organ constructs with "built-in" perfusable intraorgan branched vascular tree. Thus, organ printing is a new emerging enabling technology paradigm which represents a developmental biology-inspired alternative to classic biodegradable solid scaffold-based approaches in tissue engineering.
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              3D Printed Bionic Ears

              The ability to three-dimensionally interweave biological tissue with functional electronics could enable the creation of bionic organs possessing enhanced functionalities over their human counterparts. Conventional electronic devices are inherently two-dimensional, preventing seamless multidimensional integration with synthetic biology, as the processes and materials are very different. Here, we present a novel strategy for overcoming these difficulties via additive manufacturing of biological cells with structural and nanoparticle derived electronic elements. As a proof of concept, we generated a bionic ear via 3D printing of a cell-seeded hydrogel matrix in the precise anatomic geometry of a human ear, along with an intertwined conducting polymer consisting of infused silver nanoparticles. This allowed for in vitro culturing of cartilage tissue around an inductive coil antenna in the ear, which subsequently enables readout of inductively-coupled signals from cochlea-shaped electrodes. The printed ear exhibits enhanced auditory sensing for radio frequency reception, and complementary left and right ears can listen to stereo audio music. Overall, our approach suggests a means to intricately merge biologic and nanoelectronic functionalities via 3D printing.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group
                2045-2322
                20 July 2016
                2016
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]State Key Laboratory of Fluid Power and Mechatronic Systems, College of Mechanical Engineering, Zhejiang University , Hangzhou 310027, China
                [2 ]Key Laboratory of 3D Printing Process and Equipment of Zhejiang Province, College of Mechanical Engineering, Zhejiang University , Hangzhou 310027, China
                [3 ]State Key Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University , 710054, Xi’an China
                Author notes
                Article
                srep29977
                10.1038/srep29977
                4951698
                27436509
                Copyright © 2016, Macmillan Publishers Limited

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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