3D constructs are fundamental in tissue engineering and cancer modeling, generating a demand for tailored materials creating a suitable cell culture microenvironment and amenable to be bioprinted. Gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) is a well-known functionalized natural polymer with good printability and binding motifs allowing cell adhesion; however, its tight micropores induce encapsulated cells to retain a non-physiological spherical shape. To overcome this problem, blended GelMa is here blended with Pluronic F-127 (PLU) to modify the hydrogel internal porosity by inducing the formation of larger mesoscale pores. The change in porosity also leads to increased swelling and a slight decrease in Young's modulus. All blends form stable hydrogels both when cast in annular molds and bioprinted in complex structures. Embedded cells maintain high viability, and while Neuroblastoma cancer cells typically aggregate inside the mesoscale pores, Mesenchymal Stem Cells stretch in all three dimensions, forming cell-cell and cell-ECM interactions. The results of this work prove that the combination of tailored porous materials with bioprinting techniques enables to control both the micro and macro architecture of cell-laden constructs, a fundamental aspect for the development of clinically relevant in vitro constructs.

A Porous Gelatin Methacrylate-Based Material for 3D Cell-Laden Constructs

Bova, Lorenzo;Maggiotto, Federico;Micheli, Sara;Giomo, Monica;Sgarbossa, Paolo;Gagliano, Onelia;Falcone, Dario;Cimetta, Elisa
2022

Abstract

3D constructs are fundamental in tissue engineering and cancer modeling, generating a demand for tailored materials creating a suitable cell culture microenvironment and amenable to be bioprinted. Gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) is a well-known functionalized natural polymer with good printability and binding motifs allowing cell adhesion; however, its tight micropores induce encapsulated cells to retain a non-physiological spherical shape. To overcome this problem, blended GelMa is here blended with Pluronic F-127 (PLU) to modify the hydrogel internal porosity by inducing the formation of larger mesoscale pores. The change in porosity also leads to increased swelling and a slight decrease in Young's modulus. All blends form stable hydrogels both when cast in annular molds and bioprinted in complex structures. Embedded cells maintain high viability, and while Neuroblastoma cancer cells typically aggregate inside the mesoscale pores, Mesenchymal Stem Cells stretch in all three dimensions, forming cell-cell and cell-ECM interactions. The results of this work prove that the combination of tailored porous materials with bioprinting techniques enables to control both the micro and macro architecture of cell-laden constructs, a fundamental aspect for the development of clinically relevant in vitro constructs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3461111
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