Abstract

Bioprinting for regenerative medicine has been gaining a lot of popularity in today's world. Despite being one of rigorously studied fields, there are still several challenges yet to be solved. Geometric fidelity and mechanical complexities stand as roadblocks when it comes to printability of the customized scaffolds. Exploring the rheological properties of the compositions help us understand the physical and mechanical properties of the biomaterials which is closely tied to the printability of the filament and eventually, geometric fidelity of the scaffolds. To ensure the structural integrity of the scaffolds, viscosity enhancer such as Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) and crosslinkers like CaCl2 and CaSO4 were used. These crosslinkers can be used before (pre-crosslinking) and after (post-crosslinking) the extrusion of considered compositions to investigate and compare the outcome. To do this, mixtures of Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC, viscosity enhancer), Alginate, and CaCl2 and CaSO4 (crosslinkers) were prepared at various concentrations maintaining minimum solid content (= 8%). Each composition was subjected to a set of rheological tests like flow curve for shear thinning behavior, three point thixotropic for recovery rate, and amplitude test for gelation point. Various geometric fidelity identification tests were conducted and corelated with their physical properties. Some compositions were used to fabricate large scale scaffolds (in cm scale) to demonstrate its capability. This research is a thorough investigation of compositions when they are introduced to crosslinkers and viscosity enhancers which can be crucial for 3D printing world.

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