Development and characterisation of a new bioink for additive tissue manufacturing†
Additive manufacturing forms a potential route towards economically viable production of cellular constructs for tissue engineering. Hydrogels are a suitable class of materials for cell delivery and 3D culture, but are generally unsuitable as construction materials. Gelatine-methacrylamide is an example of such a hydrogel system widely used in the field of tissue engineering, e.g. for cartilage and cardiovascular applications. Here we show that by the addition of gellan gum to gelatine-methacrylamide and tailoring salt concentrations, rheological properties such as pseudo-plasticity and yield stress can be optimised towards gel dispensing for additive manufacturing processes. In the hydrogel formulation, salt is partly substituted by mannose to obtain isotonicity and prevent a reduction in cell viability. With this, the potential of this new bioink for additive tissue manufacturing purposes is demonstrated.