Qingxi Hu

and 5 more

Three dimensional printable formulation of self-standing and vascular-supportive structures using multi-materials suitable for organ engineering is of great importance and highly challengeable, but, it could advance the 3D printing scenario from printable shape to functional unit of human body. In this study, the authors report a 3D printable formulation of such self-standing and vascular-supportive structures using an in-house formulated multi-material combination of albumen/alginate/gelatin (A-SA-Gel)-based hydrogel. The rheological properties and relaxation behavior of hydrogels were analyzed prior to the printing process. The suitability of the hydrogel in 3D printing of various customizable and self-standing structures, including a human ear model, was examined by extrusion-based 3D printing. The structural, mechanical, and physicochemical properties of the printed scaffolds were studied systematically. Results supported the 3D printability of the formulated hydrogel with self-standing structures, which are customizable to a specific need. In vitro cell experiment showed that the formulated hydrogel has excellent biocompatibility and vascular supportive behavior with the extent of endothelial sprout formation when tested with human umbilical vein endothelial cells. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated the suitability of the extrusion-based 3D printing technique for manufacturing complex shapes and structures using multi-materials with high fidelity, which have great potential in organ engineering.