3D Printing of Gel-Based Materials

A special issue of Gels (ISSN 2310-2861). This special issue belongs to the section "Gel Chemistry and Physics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 August 2024 | Viewed by 22680

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
BIOMAT Research Group, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Escuela de Ingeniería de Gipuzkoa, 20018 Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain
Interests: 3D printing; additive manufacturing; polymers; silicones; hydrogels

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
Interests: tissue regeneration; biomaterials; regenerative medicine; nanoelectronics/engineered tissue hybrids; smart delivery systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School for Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
Interests: 3D printing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Three-dimensional printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), is defined as the process of building blocks layer-upon-layer, making it different from subtractive technologies. In recent years, this area has been blooming and has been applied to different applications such as medicine, aeronautics, automotive applications, etc. Some advantages of 3D printing over traditional methods are the opportunity to manufacture complex architectures and to produce less waste as well as to reduce production time.

Different materials can be used: metals, ceramics, or polymers. However, depending on the target, it is more suitable to use one type of material over another. In the case of soft materials, the best choice by far is the use of polymers and special gel-based materials, which can be resins, silicones, or hydrogels.

The aim of the present Special Issue is to advance the state of the art of the synthesis of gel-based materials for different purposes. Therefore, topics of interest for the present Special Issue include the following:

  • The bioprinting of materials that can be used in medical applications;
  • The 3D printing of soft materials;
  • Polymers;
  • Hydrogels;
  • Resins;
  • The synthesis of new soft materials.

Dr. Aitor Tejo-Otero
Prof. Dr. Tal Dvir
Dr. Assaf Shapira
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Gels is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • polymers
  • 3D printing
  • hydrogels
  • bioengineering

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

18 pages, 4789 KiB  
Article
3D-Printable Sustainable Bioplastics from Gluten and Keratin
by Jumana Rashid Mohammed Haroub Alshehhi, Nisal Wanasingha, Rajkamal Balu, Jitendra Mata, Kalpit Shah, Naba K. Dutta and Namita Roy Choudhury
Gels 2024, 10(2), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels10020136 - 7 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1569
Abstract
Bioplastic films comprising both plant- and animal-derived proteins have the potential to integrate the optimal characteristics inherent to the specific domain, which offers enormous potential to develop polymer alternatives to petroleum-based plastic. Herein, we present a facile strategy to develop hybrid films comprised [...] Read more.
Bioplastic films comprising both plant- and animal-derived proteins have the potential to integrate the optimal characteristics inherent to the specific domain, which offers enormous potential to develop polymer alternatives to petroleum-based plastic. Herein, we present a facile strategy to develop hybrid films comprised of both wheat gluten and wool keratin proteins for the first time, employing a ruthenium-based photocrosslinking strategy. This approach addresses the demand for sustainable materials, reducing the environmental impact by using proteins from renewable and biodegradable sources. Gluten film was fabricated from an alcohol–water mixture soluble fraction, largely comprised of gliadin proteins. Co-crosslinking hydrolyzed low-molecular-weight keratin with gluten enhanced its hydrophilic properties and enabled the tuning of its physicochemical properties. Furthermore, the hierarchical structure of the fabricated films was studied using neutron scattering techniques, which revealed the presence of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic nanodomains, gliadin nanoclusters, and interconnected micropores in the matrix. The films exhibited a largely (>40%) β-sheet secondary structure, with diminishing gliadin aggregate intensity and increasing micropore size (from 1.2 to 2.2 µm) with an increase in keratin content. The hybrid films displayed improved molecular chain mobility, as evidenced by the decrease in the glass-transition temperature from ~179.7 °C to ~173.5 °C. Amongst the fabricated films, the G14K6 hybrid sample showed superior water uptake (6.80% after 30 days) compared to the pristine G20 sample (1.04%). The suitability of the developed system for multilayer 3D printing has also been demonstrated, with the 10-layer 3D-printed film exhibiting >92% accuracy, which has the potential for use in packaging, agricultural, and biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of Gel-Based Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 4601 KiB  
Article
Modified ECM-Based Bioink for 3D Printing of Multi-Scale Vascular Networks
by Roni Cohen, Ester-Sapir Baruch, Itai Cabilly, Assaf Shapira and Tal Dvir
Gels 2023, 9(10), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9100792 - 1 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1545
Abstract
The survival and function of tissues depend on appropriate vascularization. Blood vessels of the tissues supply oxygen, and nutrients and remove waste and byproducts. Incorporating blood vessels into engineered tissues is essential for overcoming diffusion limitations, improving tissue function, and thus facilitating the [...] Read more.
The survival and function of tissues depend on appropriate vascularization. Blood vessels of the tissues supply oxygen, and nutrients and remove waste and byproducts. Incorporating blood vessels into engineered tissues is essential for overcoming diffusion limitations, improving tissue function, and thus facilitating the fabrication of thick tissues. Here, we present a modified ECM bioink, with enhanced mechanical properties and endothelial cell-specific adhesion motifs, to serve as a building material for 3D printing of a multiscale blood vessel network. The bioink is composed of natural ECM and alginate conjugated with a laminin adhesion molecule motif (YIGSR). The hybrid hydrogel was characterized for its mechanical properties, biochemical content, and ability to interact with endothelial cells. The pristine and modified hydrogels were mixed with induced pluripotent stem cells derived endothelial cells (iPSCs-ECs) and used to print large blood vessels with capillary beds in between. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of Gel-Based Materials)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

15 pages, 2377 KiB  
Article
Patient-Specific 3D Printed Soft Models for Liver Surgical Planning and Hands-On Training
by Arnau Valls-Esteve, Aitor Tejo-Otero, Pamela Lustig-Gainza, Irene Buj-Corral, Felip Fenollosa-Artés, Josep Rubio-Palau, Ignasi Barber-Martinez de la Torre, Josep Munuera, Constantino Fondevila and Lucas Krauel
Gels 2023, 9(4), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9040339 - 16 Apr 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2610
Abstract
Background: Pre-surgical simulation-based training with three-dimensional (3D) models has been intensively developed in complex surgeries in recent years. This is also the case in liver surgery, although with fewer reported examples. The simulation-based training with 3D models represents an alternative to current [...] Read more.
Background: Pre-surgical simulation-based training with three-dimensional (3D) models has been intensively developed in complex surgeries in recent years. This is also the case in liver surgery, although with fewer reported examples. The simulation-based training with 3D models represents an alternative to current surgical simulation methods based on animal or ex vivo models or virtual reality (VR), showing reported advantages, which makes the development of realistic 3D-printed models an option. This work presents an innovative, low-cost approach for producing patient-specific 3D anatomical models for hands-on simulation and training. Methods: The article reports three paediatric cases presenting complex liver tumours that were transferred to a major paediatric referral centre for treatment: hepatoblastoma, hepatic hamartoma and biliary tract rhabdomyosarcoma. The complete process of the additively manufactured liver tumour simulators is described, and the different steps for the correct development of each case are explained: (1) medical image acquisition; (2) segmentation; (3) 3D printing; (4) quality control/validation; and (5) cost. A digital workflow for liver cancer surgical planning is proposed. Results: Three hepatic surgeries were planned, with 3D simulators built using 3D printing and silicone moulding techniques. The 3D physical models showed highly accurate replications of the actual condition. Additionally, they proved to be more cost-effective in comparison with other models. Conclusions: It is demonstrated that it is possible to manufacture accurate and cost-effective 3D-printed soft surgical planning simulators for treating liver cancer. The 3D models allowed for proper pre-surgical planning and simulation training in the three cases reported, making it a valuable aid for surgeons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of Gel-Based Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

25 pages, 4764 KiB  
Article
Three-Dimensional Bio-Printed Cardiac Patch for Sustained Delivery of Extracellular Vesicles from the Interface
by Assaf Bar, Olga Kryukov and Smadar Cohen
Gels 2022, 8(12), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8120769 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2081
Abstract
Cardiac tissue engineering has emerged as a promising strategy to treat infarcted cardiac tissues by replacing the injured region with an ex vivo fabricated functional cardiac patch. Nevertheless, integration of the transplanted patch with the host tissue is still a burden, limiting its [...] Read more.
Cardiac tissue engineering has emerged as a promising strategy to treat infarcted cardiac tissues by replacing the injured region with an ex vivo fabricated functional cardiac patch. Nevertheless, integration of the transplanted patch with the host tissue is still a burden, limiting its clinical application. Here, a bi-functional, 3D bio-printed cardiac patch (CP) design is proposed, composed of a cell-laden compartment at its core and an extracellular vesicle (EV)-laden compartment at its shell for better integration of the CP with the host tissue. Alginate-based bioink solutions were developed for each compartment and characterized rheologically, examined for printability and their effect on residing cells or EVs. The resulting 3D bio-printed CP was examined for its mechanical stiffness, showing an elastic modulus between 4–5 kPa at day 1 post-printing, suitable for transplantation. Affinity binding of EVs to alginate sulfate (AlgS) was validated, exhibiting dissociation constant values similar to those of EVs with heparin. The incorporation of AlgS-EVs complexes within the shell bioink sustained EV release from the CP, with 88% cumulative release compared with 92% without AlgS by day 4. AlgS also prolonged the release profile by an additional 2 days, lasting 11 days overall. This CP design comprises great potential at promoting more efficient patch assimilation with the host. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of Gel-Based Materials)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review

Jump to: Research

45 pages, 1063 KiB  
Review
Current Biomedical Applications of 3D-Printed Hydrogels
by Allan John R. Barcena, Kashish Dhal, Parimal Patel, Prashanth Ravi, Suprateek Kundu and Karthik Tappa
Gels 2024, 10(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels10010008 - 21 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2278
Abstract
Three-dimensional (3D) printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has revolutionized the production of physical 3D objects by transforming computer-aided design models into layered structures, eliminating the need for traditional molding or machining techniques. In recent years, hydrogels have emerged as an ideal 3D [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has revolutionized the production of physical 3D objects by transforming computer-aided design models into layered structures, eliminating the need for traditional molding or machining techniques. In recent years, hydrogels have emerged as an ideal 3D printing feedstock material for the fabrication of hydrated constructs that replicate the extracellular matrix found in endogenous tissues. Hydrogels have seen significant advancements since their first use as contact lenses in the biomedical field. These advancements have led to the development of complex 3D-printed structures that include a wide variety of organic and inorganic materials, cells, and bioactive substances. The most commonly used 3D printing techniques to fabricate hydrogel scaffolds are material extrusion, material jetting, and vat photopolymerization, but novel methods that can enhance the resolution and structural complexity of printed constructs have also emerged. The biomedical applications of hydrogels can be broadly classified into four categories—tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, 3D cell culture and disease modeling, drug screening and toxicity testing, and novel devices and drug delivery systems. Despite the recent advancements in their biomedical applications, a number of challenges still need to be addressed to maximize the use of hydrogels for 3D printing. These challenges include improving resolution and structural complexity, optimizing cell viability and function, improving cost efficiency and accessibility, and addressing ethical and regulatory concerns for clinical translation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of Gel-Based Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

28 pages, 5203 KiB  
Review
Hydrogels—A Promising Materials for 3D Printing Technology
by Gobi Saravanan Kaliaraj, Dilip Kumar Shanmugam, Arish Dasan and Kamalan Kirubaharan Amirtharaj Mosas
Gels 2023, 9(3), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9030260 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 7349
Abstract
Hydrogels are a promising material for a variety of applications after appropriate functional and structural design, which alters the physicochemical properties and cell signaling pathways of the hydrogels. Over the past few decades, considerable scientific research has made breakthroughs in a variety of [...] Read more.
Hydrogels are a promising material for a variety of applications after appropriate functional and structural design, which alters the physicochemical properties and cell signaling pathways of the hydrogels. Over the past few decades, considerable scientific research has made breakthroughs in a variety of applications such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, agriculture, biosensors, bioseparation, defense, and cosmetics. In the present review, different classifications of hydrogels and their limitations have been discussed. In addition, techniques involved in improving the physical, mechanical, and biological properties of hydrogels by admixing various organic and inorganic materials are explored. Future 3D printing technology will substantially advance the ability to pattern molecules, cells, and organs. With significant potential for producing living tissue structures or organs, hydrogels can successfully print mammalian cells and retain their functionalities. Furthermore, recent advances in functional hydrogels such as photo- and pH-responsive hydrogels and drug-delivery hydrogels are discussed in detail for biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of Gel-Based Materials)
Show Figures

Figure 1

29 pages, 6125 KiB  
Review
Natural Materials for 3D Printing and Their Applications
by Chunyu Su, Yutong Chen, Shujing Tian, Chunxiu Lu and Qizhuang Lv
Gels 2022, 8(11), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels8110748 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4298
Abstract
In recent years, 3D printing has gradually become a well-known new topic and a research hotspot. At the same time, the advent of 3D printing is inseparable from the preparation of bio-ink. Natural materials have the advantages of low toxicity or even non-toxicity, [...] Read more.
In recent years, 3D printing has gradually become a well-known new topic and a research hotspot. At the same time, the advent of 3D printing is inseparable from the preparation of bio-ink. Natural materials have the advantages of low toxicity or even non-toxicity, there being abundant raw materials, easy processing and modification, excellent mechanical properties, good biocompatibility, and high cell activity, making them very suitable for the preparation of bio-ink. With the help of 3D printing technology, the prepared materials and scaffolds can be widely used in tissue engineering and other fields. Firstly, we introduce the natural materials and their properties for 3D printing and summarize the physical and chemical properties of these natural materials and their applications in tissue engineering after modification. Secondly, we discuss the modification methods used for 3D printing materials, including physical, chemical, and protein self-assembly methods. We also discuss the method of 3D printing. Then, we summarize the application of natural materials for 3D printing in tissue engineering, skin tissue, cartilage tissue, bone tissue, and vascular tissue. Finally, we also express some views on the research and application of these natural materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of Gel-Based Materials)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop