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Title: Engineered assistive materials for 3D bioprinting: support baths and sacrificial inks
Abstract Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is a promising technique for spatially patterning cells and materials into constructs that mimic native tissues and organs. However, a trade-off exists between printability and biological function, where weak materials are typically more suited for 3D cell culture but exhibit poor shape fidelity when printed in air. Recently, a new class of assistive materials has emerged to overcome this limitation and enable fabrication of more complex, biologically relevant geometries, even when using soft materials as bioinks. These materials include support baths, which bioinks are printed into, and sacrificial inks, which are printed themselves and then later removed. Support baths are commonly yield-stress materials that provide physical confinement during the printing process to improve resolution and shape fidelity. Sacrificial inks have primarily been used to create void spaces and pattern perfusable networks, but they can also be combined directly with the bioink to change its mechanical properties for improved printability or increased porosity. Here, we outline the advantages of using such assistive materials in 3D bioprinting, define their material property requirements, and offer case study examples of how these materials are used in practice. Finally, we discuss the remaining challenges and future opportunities in the development of assistive materials that will propel the bioprinting field forward toward creating full-scale, biomimetic tissues and organs.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2033302 2103812 1808415
Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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