Various biopolymers, including gelatin, have already been applied to serve a plethora of tissue engineering purposes. However, substantial concerns have arisen related to the safety and the reproducibility of these materials due to their animal origin and the risk associated with pathogen transmission as well as batch-to-batch variations. Therefore, researchers have been focusing their attention toward recombinant materials that can be produced in a laboratory with full reproducibility and can be designed according to specific needs (e.g., by introducing additional RGD sequences). In the present study, a recombinant protein based on collagen type I (RCPhC1) was functionalized with photo-cross-linkable methacrylamide (RCPhC1-MA), norbornene (RCPhC1-NB), or thiol (RCPhC1-SH) functionalities to enable high-resolution 3D printing via two-photon polymerization (2PP). The results indicated a clear difference in 2PP processing capabilities between the chain-growth-polymerized RCPhC1-MA and the step-growth-polymerized RCPhC1-NB/SH. More specifically, reduced swelling-related deformations resulting in a superior CAD-CAM mimicry were obtained for the RCPhC1-NB/SH hydrogels. In addition, RCPhC1-NB/SH allowed the processing of the material in the presence of adipose tissue-derived stem cells that survived the encapsulation process and also were able to proliferate when embedded in the printed structures. As a consequence, it is the first time that successful HD bioprinting with cell encapsulation is reported for recombinant hydrogel bioinks. Therefore, these results can be a stepping stone toward various tissue engineering applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3997-4007
Number of pages11
JournalBiomacromolecules
Volume21
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2020

ID: 54056696