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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  2. Hydrogels are attractive materials for tissue engineering, but efforts to date have shown limited ability to produce the microstructural features necessary to promote cellular self-organization into hierarchical three-dimensional (3D) organ models. Here we develop a hydrogel ink containing prefabricated gelatin fibres to print 3D organ-level scaffolds that recapitulate the intra- and intercellular organization of the heart. The addition of prefabricated gelatin fibres to hydrogels enables the tailoring of the ink rheology, allowing for a controlled sol–gel transition to achieve precise printing of free-standing 3D structures without additional supporting materials. Shear-induced alignment of fibres during ink extrusion provides microscale geometric cues that promote the self-organization of cultured human cardiomyocytes into anisotropic muscular tissues in vitro. The resulting 3D-printed ventricle in vitro model exhibited biomimetic anisotropic electrophysiological and contractile properties. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024