Brinter’s Product manager, post-doctoral researcher  Sanna Turunen, has participated in novel bioink development driven by the pursuit of the research community to discover new printable materials to tackle the shortage of materials suitable for bioprinting. The lack of ideal bioinks has been identified as one of the major bottlenecks limiting the progress of the bioprinting field.

The collaboration with the Tampere University researchers from the Kellomäki Lab – Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Group – yielded a recently published article about a two-step crosslinking technique involving ionic and photocrosslinking to turn a methacrylated gellan gum biomaterial ink printable at room temperature. The research article was published in the journal of Bioprinting by Elsevier.

In the published study, gellan gum polysaccharide was functionalised with methacrylate groups to transform it into photocrosslinkable GGMA and enable mechanical tunability of the hydrogel. Unfortunately, the GGMA precursors alone lack the stability to maintain the 3D structure after printing, although the prescreening results based on the rheological data implied that the material is extrudable. Hence, the printability of the biomaterial ink was further improved via ionic pre-crosslinking with calcium providing sufficient stability to maintain the printed shape before photocrosslinking with UV light.

The rigorous characterisations proved that the two-step crosslinking technique is a practical approach to turn unprintable GGMA inks into feasible bioinks for the fabrication of 3D structures. The 3D printed structures presented high accuracy, shape fidelity, structural integrity and mechanical stability. This means good applicability for a wide range of bioprinting applications.

Take a look at the original publication at:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405886621000580#fig5

Two-step crosslinking to enhance the printability of methacrylated gellan gum biomaterial ink for extrusion-based 3D bioprinting

by Hatai Jongprasitkul, Sanna Turunen, Vijay Singh Parihar, and Minna Kellomäki

Bioprinting, volume 25, March 2022, e00185