Analytics in Extrusion-Based Bioprinting: Standardized Methods Improving Quantification and Comparability of the Performance of Bioinks

  • Autor:

    Strauß, S. / Grijalva Garces, D. / Hubbuch, J. (2023)

  • Quelle:

    Polymers 2023, 15(8), 1829;

  • Datum: April 2023
  • Abstract

    Three-dimensional bioprinting and especially extrusion-based printing as a most frequently employed method in this field is constantly evolving as a discipline in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. However, the lack of relevant standardized analytics does not yet allow an easy comparison and transfer of knowledge between laboratories regarding newly developed bioinks and printing processes. This work revolves around the establishment of a standardized method, which enables the comparability of printed structures by controlling for the extrusion rate based on the specific flow behavior of each bioink. Furthermore, printing performance was evaluated by image-processing tools to verify the printing accuracy for lines, circles, and angles. In addition, and complementary to the accuracy metrics, a dead/live staining of embedded cells was performed to investigate the effect of the process on cell viability. Two bioinks, based on alginate and gelatin methacryloyl, which differed in 1% (w/v) alginate content, were tested for printing performance. The automated image processing tool reduced the analytical time while increasing reproducibility and objectivity during the identification of printed objects. During evaluation of the processing effect of the mixing of cell viability, NIH 3T3 fibroblasts were stained and analyzed after the mixing procedure and after the extrusion process using a flow cytometer, which evaluated a high number of cells. It could be observed that the small increase in alginate content made little difference in the printing accuracy but had a considerable strong effect on cell viability after both processing steps.