Bio-ink development for three-dimensional bioprinting of hetero-cellular cartilage constructs

Vivian H M Mouser, Riccardo Levato, Anneloes Mensinga, Wouter J A Dhert, Debby Gawlitta, Jos Malda

Published: 03/03/2020


Bioprinting is a promising tool to fabricate organized cartilage. This study aimed to investigate the printability of gelatin-methacryloyl/gellan gum (gelMA/gellan) hydrogels with and without methacrylated hyaluronic acid (HAMA), and to explore (zone-specific) chondrogenesis of chondrocytes, articular cartilage progenitor cells (ACPCs), and multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) embedded in these bio-inks.The incorporating of HAMA in gelMA/gellan bio-ink increased filament stability, as measured using a filament collapse assay, but did not influence (zone-specific) chondrogenesis of any of the cell types. Highest chondrogenic potential was observed for MSCs, followed by ACPCs, which displayed relatively high proteoglycan IV mRNA levels. Therefore, two-zone constructs were printed with gelMA/gellan/HAMA containing ACPCs in the superficial region and MSCs in the middle/deep region. Chondrogenic differentiation was confirmed, however, printing influence cellular differentiation.ACPC- and MSC-laden gelMA/gellan/HAMA hydrogels are of interest for the fabrication of cartilage constructs. Nevertheless, this study underscores the need for careful evaluation of the effects of printing on cellular differentiation.

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