Cellulose Nanofibers for the Enhancement of Printability of Low Viscosity Gelatin Derivatives

Sungchul Shin, Soohyun Park, Minsung Park, Eunsue Jeong, Kyunga Na, Hye Jung Youn, Jinho Hyun


Inadequate rheological properties of gelatin methacrylamide (GelMA) were successfully improved by incorporating cellulose nanofibers (CNFs), such that the printed scaffolds could maintain their structural fidelity during the three-dimensional (3D) bio-printing process. The CNFs provided an outstanding shear thinning property, and the GelMA/CNF inks exhibited high zero shear viscosity and structural fidelity under a low dispensing pressure. After evaluating the printability, composite inks containing 2% w/v CNF were observed to have an optimal concentration of CNF to prepare 3D print stable constructs. Therefore, these inks were used to manufacture human nose and ear structures, producing highly porous structures in the printed composite hydrogels. Furthermore, the mechanical stability of the GelMA/CNF composite hydrogel was increased when CNFs were incorporated, which indicated that CNFs played an important role in enhancing the structural properties of the composite hydrogels. Additionally, the biocompatibility of CNF-reinforced hydrogels was evaluated using a fibroblast cell line.


Cellulose nanofiber; 3D Bioprinting; Gelatin methacrylamide; Hydrogel; Bioink

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