3D Bioprinting

3D bioprinted scaffolds

3D bioprinting techniques offer the advantage of precisely controlling the microstructure of scaffolds used in tissue engineering and drug delivery. In biofabrication, they typically consist on printing bioink hydrogels (composed of natural or synthetic polymers) with cells to produce geometrically controlled engineered tissues.

The viscoelastic properties of the bioink often needs to be adjusted to ensure a good printability, shape fidelity and cell-friendly mechanical environment. Once printed, the final strength of the construct has to resemble the one of the specific application. Due to their soft nature and their geometrical complexity, mechanical characterization of such constructs is often challenging with conventional testing technologies.

3D bioprinting techniques offer the advantage of precisely controlling the microstructure of scaffolds used in tissue engineering and drug delivery. In biofabrication, they typically consist on printing bioinks (composed of natural or synthetic polymers) with cells to produce geometrically controlled engineered tissues.

The viscoelastic properties of the bioink often needs to be adjusted to ensure a good printability, shape fidelity and cell-friendly mechanical environment. Once printed, the final strength of the construct has to resemble the one of the specific application. Due to their soft nature and their geometrical complexity, mechanical characterization of such constructs is often challenging with conventional testing technologies.

We have designed the ElastoSens™ Bio to test the viscoelasticity of both bioinks and 3D bioprinted constructs. Bioinks can be poured directly in the sample holder and tested during gelation and crosslinking under controlled temperature and UV light conditions. Scaffolds can either be introduced or directly printed inside the sample holder to be tested on the ElastoSens™ Bio. The instrument applies gentle vibrations to the sample and measures with no contact its response to the mechanical stimulus. Real time changes in the storage (G’) and loss (G’’) shear modulus of either the bioink or the 3D printed scaffold are measured and displayed.

In this example, 3D scaffolds composed of PEGDA/Laponite gels were bioprinted with different porosities by changing the diameter of the filaments (500 μm, 700 μm and 900 μm) while the spacing was maintained equal. The shear storage modulus (G’) of the scaffolds was obtained using the ElastoSens™ Bio. It clearly appears in the graph that reducing the porosity results in the increase of the overall scaffold elasticity.

3D Bioprinting Results
3D Bioprinting directly into sample holder
The precise evaluation of hydrogels viscoelasticity can accelerate their formulation and the optimization of their functionality. Combined with the power of Soft Matter Analytics™, the ElastoSens™ Bio offers an unprecedented development and control platform for scientists and engineers creating hydrogel-based biosystems or devices.

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    Benefits of Contact-Free, Non-Invasive Measurements with the Elastosens™ Bio

    • Test non-destructively the viscoelastic properties of bulk hydrogels, 3D bioprinted scaffolds and 3D cell-laden hydrogels.
    • Apply programmable thermo and photo (UV) stimulations to deeply analyze your material.
    • Follow the evolution of the same sample from formation to degradation non-destructively and over long periods of time.
    • Get advanced and personalized Soft Matter Analytics™.
    • Accelerate your formulation process while improving repeatability.
    • Test bioengineered tissues in a cell-friendly and sterile environment.
    • Operate a truly easy-to-use instrument designed for biologists, chemists and material scientists.
    • Save time and material for R&D and QC operations.
    • Customize your own testing system with up to 5 instruments thanks to the modularity of the ElastoSens™ Bio.
    • Optimize your investments with affordable instruments that fit your needs and budget.

    ELASTOSENS™ BIO

    MECHANICAL TESTER FOR HYDROGELS AND BIOMATERIALS

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    Related Application Notes

    The thermoreversible behavior of some polymers relies on the large conformation changes in response to temperature. They have been investigated for a variety of clinical applications that demand an in situ gelation at physiological temperatures. In addition, these polymers have been widely studied for other biomedical applications such as drug delivery and tissue engineering in which the thermoresponsive behavior needs to be balanced with biocompatibility and degradation kinetics.

    3D printing technologies offer the advantage of precisely controlling the microstructure of scaffolds used for tissue engineering applications and drug delivery systems. The macro-mechanical properties of these scaffolds are directly related to their microstructure and both are important parameters for cell behavior and drug release.


       

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