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Gaststudentin, University of Pardubice, Czech Republic

Hydrogels and Synthetic Polymers in 3D Bioprinting

Betreuer: Dr. R. Detsch. Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Aldo R. Boccaccini

Additive Manufacturing Techniques (AMT) involve, among many other methods, 3D bioprinters to combine living cells and biocompatible polymers (hydrogels) in layer-by-layer manner aiming at constructing 3D scaffolds for tissue engineering applications. This particular AMT field is known as Biofabrication. The constructs can be mechanically supported by hot-melt extruded thermoplastic structures combined with biocompatible hydrogels, where cells can be implemented in a later stage [1]. Since hydrogels do not have enough mechanical integrity, different methods are being suggested to enhance the mechanical competence of biofabricated constructs. One option is the addition of synthetic polymer struts to the 3D construct to provide structural integrity [2]. Following previous research at the Erlangen Institute of Biomaterials [2], the aim of this research is to compare between pure polycaprolactone (PCL) and a combination of PCL and polyethylene glycol (PCL-PEG) as supporting structures for alginate dialdehyde- gelatine hydrogels (ADA-GEL) [3] to fabricate 3D scaffolds by a sequential bioprinting process. Moreover, bioactive glass particles will be considered as a rigid and bioactive inorganic phase to be added to the hydrogels to enhance the stiffness and to provide biomineralization capability to the constructs.

[1] Atala A, Yoo J. Essentials of 3D Biofabrication and Translation. 1st ed. Cambridge: Academic Press; 2015.

[2] Zehnder T, Freund T, Demir M, Detsch R, Boccaccini A. Fabrication of Cell-Loaded Two-Phase 3D Constructs for Tissue Engineering. Materials 2016; 9(12):887.

[3] Reakasame, S., Boccaccini, A. R., Oxidized Alginate-Based Hydrogels for Tissue Engineering Applications: A Review, Biomacromolecules 2018; 19 (1): 3–21.

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