3D-Printable and Enzymatically Active Composite Materials Based on Hydrogel-Filled High Internal Phase Emulsions
Wenger, L. / Radtke, C.P. / Göpper, J. / Wörner, M. / Hubbuch, J. (2020)
Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol., 2020, doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2020.00713
- Date: Juli 2020
The immobilization of enzymes in biocatalytic flow reactors is a common strategy to increase enzyme reusability and improve biocatalytic performance. Extrusion-based 3D bioprinting has recently emerged as a versatile tool for the fabrication of perfusable hydrogel grids containing entrapped enzymes for the use in such reactors. This study demonstrates the suitability of water-in-oil high internal phase emulsions (HIPEs) as 3D-printable bioinks for the fabrication of composite materials with a porous polymeric scaffold (polyHIPE) filled with enzyme-laden hydrogel. The prepared HIPEs exhibited excellent printability and are shown to be suitable for the printing of complex three-dimensional structures without the need for sacrificial support material. An automated activity assay method for the systematic screening of different material compositions in small-scale batch experiments is presented. The monomer mass fraction in the aqueous phase and the thickness of printed objects were found to be the most important parameters determining the apparent activity of the immobilized enzyme. Mass transfer limitations and enzyme inactivation were identified as probable factors reducing the apparent activity. The presented HIPE-based bioinks enable the fabrication of flow-optimized and more efficient biocatalytic reactors while the automated activity assay method allows the rapid screening of materials to optimize the biocatalytic efficiency further without time-consuming flow-through experiments involving whole printed reactors.