Trends in Double Networks as Bioprintable and Injectable Hydrogel Scaffolds for Tissue Regeneration

Ana A. Aldana , Sofie Houben, Lorenzo Moroni, Matthew B. Baker, and Louis M. Pitet

Published: 2021


Additive manufacturing and injection are essential tools in the rapidly developing field of personalized medicine and are particularly promising for applications in regenerative medicine. One of the biggest challenges in this vibrant research domain remains the processing of complex formulations with robust mechanical properties. Mimicking the native extracellular matrix associated with many tissues requires materials that have high degrees of functionality for performing the complex array of functions within the cellular environment. Furthermore, native tissues often possess outstanding mechanical properties, particularly in connective tissues. These exceptional mechanics are a challenge to emulate in their own right, especially considering the accompanying demands for additional functionality. Double-network hydrogels have emerged as strong candidates for tissue engineering because of the impressive mechanics and versatility in terms of chemical makeup. Combining advances in processing (i.e., additive manufacturing and injection) with dual-network hydrogel formulations has led to an impressive collection of results, making great strides toward systems capable of addressing the demanding environment surrounding tissues while being amenable to personalized fabrication techniques. This review provides a brief summary of the most contemporary trends collected from the literature describing dual-network hydrogels being demonstrated in additive manufacturing and injectable applications.

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