Nanofibrillated cellulose/gellan gum hydrogel-based bioinks for 3D bioprinting of skin cells

International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 2023 Volume 229, Pages 849-860

The development of suitable bioinks is an important research topic in the field of three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting. Herein, novel hydrogel-based bioinks composed of nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) and gellan gum (GG) in different NFC/GG mass proportions (90:10, 80:20, 70:30, and 60:40) were developed and characterized. The increase in the content of GG, as well as its combination with NFC, enhanced their rheological properties, increasing both storage (G’) and loss (G”) moduli and the G’ recovery capacity of the hydrogels (from 70.05 ± 3.06 % (90:10) to 82.63 ± 1.21 % (60:40)), as well as their mechanical properties, increasing the compressive stiffness and stress from 114.02 ± 10.93 Pa (90:10) to 337.16 ± 34.03 Pa (60:40) and from 18.27 ± 1.32 kPa (90:10) to 47.17 ± 3.59 kPa (60:40), respectively. The hydrogels were non-cytotoxic against human keratinocyte cells (HaCaT), with cell viabilities above 70 % for up to 72 h. The hydrogel 60:40 was loaded with HaCaT cells (3 × 106 cells mL−1) and bioprinted. The cell viability was maintained elevated until day 7 (90 ± 3 %) after bioprinting. These results highlight that the combination of these two biopolymers was a good strategy for the development of novel hydrogel-based bioinks for extrusion 3D bioprinting applications.