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Issue 9, 2018
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3D printed scaffolds with gradient porosity based on a cellulose nanocrystal hydrogel

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Abstract

3-Dimensional (3D) printing provides a unique methodology for the customization of biomedical scaffolds with respect to size, shape, pore structure and pore orientation useful for tissue repair and regeneration. 3D printing was used to fabricate fully bio-based porous scaffolds of a double crosslinked interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) from a hydrogel ink of sodium alginate and gelatin (SA/G) reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs). CNCs provided favorable rheological properties required for 3D printing. The 3D printed scaffolds were crosslinked sequentially via covalent and ionic reactions resulting in dimensionally stable hydrogel scaffolds with pore sizes of 80–2125 μm and nanoscaled pore wall roughness (visible from scanning electron microscopy) favorable for cell interaction. The 2D wide angle X-ray scattering studies showed that the nanocrystals orient preferably in the printing direction; the degree of orientation varied between 61–76%. The 3D printing pathways were optimised successfully to achieve 3-dimensional scaffolds (Z axis up to 20 mm) with uniform as well as gradient pore structures. This study demonstrates the potential of 3D printing in developing bio-based scaffolds with controlled pore sizes, gradient pore structures and alignment of nanocrystals for optimal tissue regeneration.

Graphical abstract: 3D printed scaffolds with gradient porosity based on a cellulose nanocrystal hydrogel

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
01 Dec 2017
Accepted
21 Jan 2018
First published
24 Jan 2018

This article is Open Access

Nanoscale, 2018,10, 4421-4431
Article type
Paper

3D printed scaffolds with gradient porosity based on a cellulose nanocrystal hydrogel

S. Sultan and A. P. Mathew, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 4421 DOI: 10.1039/C7NR08966J

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

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