In this study we use a combination of ionic- and photo-cross-linking to develop a fabrication method for producing biocompatible microstructures using a methacrylated gellan gum (a polyanion) and chitosan (a polycation) in addition to lithium phenyl-2,4,6-trimethylbenzoylphosphinate (LAP) as the photoinitiator. This work involves the development of a low-cost, portable 3D bioprinter and a customized extrusion mechanism for controlled introduction of the materials through a 3D printed microfluidic nozzle, before being cross-linked in situ to form robust microstructure bundles. The formed microstructures yielded a diameter of less than 1 μm and a tensile strength range of ∼1 MPa. This study is the first to explore and achieve GGMA:CHT microstructure fabrication by means of controlled in-line compaction and photo-cross-linking through 3D printed microfluidic channels.
Available for download on Thursday, May 13, 2021