Annika Kleebauer

Annika Kleebauer

Master student

Serial 3D printing of thermoplastic polymers and bioactive composite hydrogels for dynamic culture in a bioreactor


Supervisors: Susanne Heid, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Aldo R. Boccaccini

3D printing and biofabrication are emerging technologies for tissue regeneration, because complex and individually designed tissue constructs can be fabricated [1]. 3D printing can be applied also to fabricate bioreactors for use in tissue engineering. In general, bioreactors are used to store a tissue construct under natural environmental conditions. The bioreactor protects the tissue construct from contaminations and the cells, which are encapsulated in the bioink, are supplied with oxygen and nutrients [2]. In this work, the printing parameters of a thermoplastic material are optimized to ensure the production of a container with high shape fidelity which is part of a bioreactor. A composite-hydrogel will be printed into this container during a serial printing process. The used hydrogel is ADA-GEL, which is combined with bioactive inorganic fillers [3] to improve its long-term stability and printability. In some further experiments, fibroblast cells will be added to the hydrogel before serial bioprinting and their behaviour under dynamic perfusion will be assessed.

[1] Yan, Qian; A Review of 3D Printing Technology for Medical Applications, Engineering 4 (5), 729–742; 2018

[2] Gensler, Marius et al.; 3D printing of bioreactors in tissue engineering: A generalised approach, PloS one 15 (11); 2020.

[3] Heid, Susanne, and Boccaccini, Aldo R.; Advancing bioinks for 3D bioprinting using reactive fillers: A review, Acta Biomaterialia 113, 1-22; 2020.