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  Cornell University

MAE Publications and Papers

Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

New article: Correlating Rheological Properties and Printability of Collagen Bioinks: the effects of riboflavin photocrosslinking and pH

Article:  Diamantides, N; Wang, L; Pruiksma, T; Siemiatkoski, J; Dugopolski, C; Shortkroff, S; Kennedy, S; Bonassar, LJ; “Correlating Rheological Properties and Printability of Collagen Bioinks: the effects of riboflavin photocrosslinking and pH”, Biofabrication, 9 (3)


Abstract:  Collagen has shown promise as a bioink for extrusion-based bioprinting, but further development of new collagen bioink formulations is necessary to improve their printability. Screening these formulations by measuring print accuracy is a costly and time consuming process. We hypothesized that rheological properties of the bioink before, during, and/or after gelation can be used to predict printability. In this study, we investigated the effects of riboflavin photocrosslinking and pH on type I collagen bioink rheology before, during, and after gelation and directly correlated these findings to the printability of each bioink formulation. From the riboflavin crosslinking study, results showed that riboflavin crosslinking increased the storage moduli of collagen bioinks, but the degree of improvement was less pronounced at higher collagen concentrations. Dots printed with collagen bioinks with riboflavin crosslinking exhibited smaller dot footprint areas than those printed with collagen bioinks without riboflavin crosslinking. From the pH study, results showed that gelation kinetics and final gel moduli were highly pH dependent and both exhibited maxima around pH 8. The shape fidelity of printed lines was highest atpH 8-9.5. The effect of riboflavin crosslinking and pH on cell viability was assessed using bovine chondrocytes. Cell viability in collagen gels was found to decrease after blue light activated riboflavin crosslinking but was not affected by pH. Correlations between rheological parameters and printability showed that the modulus associated with the bioink immediately after extrusion and before deposition was the best predictor of bioink printability. These findings will allow for the more rapid screening of collagen bioink formulations.

Funding Acknowledgement:  Histogenics Corporation to Cornell University; NSF [DMR-1120296, DMR-1460428]; Rawlings Cornell Presidential Research Scholars program

Funding Text:  This work was partially funded by an award from Histogenics Corporation to Cornell University. This work made use of the Center for Nanomaterials Engineering & Technology shared research facilities at Cornell University. This work was supported by NSF DMR-1120296 and DMR-1460428 and the Rawlings Cornell Presidential Research Scholars program.

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