Programming Mechanical and Physicochemical Properties of 3D Hydrogel Cellular Microcultures via Direct Ink Writing

Joselle M. Mccracken, Adina Badea, Mikhail E. Kandel, A. Sydney Gladman, David J. Wetzel, Gabriel Popescu, Jennifer A Lewis, Ralph G. Nuzzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

3D hydrogel scaffolds are widely used in cellular microcultures and tissue engineering. Using direct ink writing, microperiodic poly(2-hydroxyethyl-methacrylate) (pHEMA) scaffolds are created that are then printed, cured, and modified by absorbing 30 kDa protein poly-l-lysine (PLL) to render them biocompliant in model NIH/3T3 fibroblast and MC3T3-E1 preosteoblast cell cultures. Spatial light interference microscopy (SLIM) live cell imaging studies are carried out to quantify cellular motilities for each cell type, substrate, and surface treatment of interest. 3D scaffold mechanics is investigated using atomic force microscopy (AFM), while their absorption kinetics are determined by confocal fluorescence microscopy (CFM) for a series of hydrated hydrogel films prepared from prepolymers with different homopolymer-to-monomer (Mr) ratios. The observations reveal that the inks with higher Mr values yield relatively more open-mesh gels due to a lower degree of entanglement. The biocompatibility of printed hydrogel scaffolds can be controlled by both PLL content and hydrogel mesh properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1025-1039
Number of pages15
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Volume5
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 11 2016

Keywords

  • 3D print
  • Fibroblasts
  • Fluorescence
  • Hydrogels
  • Scaffolds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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