Leyre Sota Ugarte

Visiting student (Mondragon University, Spain)

Development and characterisation of hydrogels for soft tissue engineering and 3D bioprinting


Supervisor: Faina Bider, Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini

The development of materials for soft tissue engineering represents a challenge in the biomaterials field. Biofabrication, usually through 3D bio-printing, generally involves the processing of cell-laden hydrogels to fabricate tissue like 3D structures. For this method, alginate-based hydrogels are commonly selected due to their biocompatibility, low cost and tunable properties [1]. However, alginate usually exhibit weak mechanical properties and also the printability may be compromised. This drawbacks could be overcome through the incorporation of biomolecules and bioreactive fillers, such as bioactive glasses [2]. The aim of this project is the development, design, characterization and application of composite hydrogels, which are able to incorporate inorganic colloidal components in order to achieve new functionalities for tissue engineering approaches.

[1]      B. Sarker et al., Fabrication of alginate-gelatin crosslinked hydrogel microcapsules and evaluation of the microstructure and physico-chemical properties, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2 (2014) 1470–1482.

[2]      S. Heid, A. R. Boccaccini, Advancing bioinks for 3D bioprinting using reactive fillers: A review, Acta Biomaterialia 113 (2020) 1-22.

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