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3D Embedded Printing of Complex Biological Structures with Supporting Bath of Pluronic F-127

Biofabrication is crucial in contemporary tissue engineering. The primary challenge in biofabrication lies in achieving simultaneous replication of both external organ geometries and internal structures. Particularly for organs with high oxygen demand, the incorporation of a vascular network, which is usually intricate, is crucial to enhance tissue viability, which is still a difficulty in current biofabrication technology. In this study, we address this problem by introducing an innovative three-dimensional (3D) printing strategy using a thermo-reversible supporting bath which can be easily removed by decreasing the temperature. This technology is capable of printing hydrated materials with diverse crosslinked mechanisms, encompassing gelatin, hyaluronate, Pluronic F-127, and alginate. Furthermore, the technology can replicate the external geometry of native tissues and organs from computed tomography data. The work also demonstrates the capability to print lines around 10 μm with a nozzle with a diameter of 60 μm due to the extra force exerted by the supporting bath, by which the line size was largely reduced, and this technique can be used to fabricate intricate capillary networks.

Publication date: 22/08/2023

Author: Tianzhou Hu

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym15173493

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.