Development of a Photocrosslinkable Methacrylated Methylcellulose and Gelatin bioink for Cartilage Tissue Regeneration

Articular cartilage disease can cause pain, mobility issues, and disability. Clinical treatment includes microfracture, subchondral drilling, graft transplantation, and eventually total joint replacement implant. However, these approaches can present specific problems and limitations. Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinted scaffolds utilising hydrogels can provide a suitable 3D biochemical and biophysical environment, thus is a promising strategy for cartilage tissue therapy and regeneration. This study aims to develop a new hydrogel bioink with improved printability, mechanical, and biological properties for cartilage regeneration. A photocrosslinkable methacrylated methylcellulose (MCMA) and gelatin (GelMA) hybrid bioink is evaluated in this preliminary investigation. The results showed that methylcellulose and gelatin were successfully functionalised, which enabled photocrosslinking of the bioinks. The compressive modulus and shear-thinning behaviour of bioinks increases with higher content of MCMA, all bioinks displayed printability, and scaffolds were successfully fabricated.