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Published Online: 1 October 2017

Three-Dimensional Printing and Angiogenesis: Tailored Agarose-Type I Collagen Blends Comprise Three-Dimensional Printability and Angiogenesis Potential for Tissue-Engineered Substitutes

Publication: Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods
Volume 23, Issue Number 10


Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is a promising technology for manufacturing cell-laden tissue-engineered constructs. Larger tissue substitutes, however, require a vascularized network to ensure nutrition supply. Therefore, tailored bioinks combining 3D printability and cell-induced vascularization are needed. We hypothesize that tailored hydrogel blends made of agarose-type I collagen and agarose-fibrinogen are 3D printable and will allow the formation of capillary-like structures by human umbilical vein endothelial cells and human dermal fibroblasts. Samples were casted, incubated for 14 days, and analyzed by immunohistology and two-photon laser scanning microscopy. The 3D printability of the hydrogel blends was examined using a drop-on-demand printing system. The rheological behavior was also investigated. Substantial capillary network formation was observed in agarose-type I collagen hydrogel blends with concentrations of 0.2% or 0.5% collagen and 0.5% agarose. Furthermore, storage moduli of agarose-collagen blends were significantly increased compared to those of the corresponding single components (448 Pa for 0.5% agarose, 148 Pa for 0.5% collagen, and 1551 Pa for 0.5% agarose-0.5% collagen). Neither the addition of collagen nor fibrinogen significantly impaired the printing resolution. In conclusion, we present a tailored hydrogel blend that can be printed in 3D and in parallel exhibits cell-induced vascularization capability.

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Published In

cover image Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods
Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods
Volume 23Issue Number 10October 2017
Pages: 604 - 615
PubMed: 28826357


Published in print: October 2017
Published online: 1 October 2017
Published ahead of production: 21 August 2017
Accepted: 7 August 2017
Received: 27 April 2017


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Franziska Kreimendahl, MSc*
Department of Biohybrid and Medical Textiles (BioTex), AME-Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering and ITA-Institut für Textiltechnik, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
Marius Köpf, MSc*
Department of Dental Materials and Biomaterials Research, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Aachen, Germany.
Anja Lena Thiebes, PhD
Department of Biohybrid and Medical Textiles (BioTex), AME-Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering and ITA-Institut für Textiltechnik, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
Daniela F. Duarte Campos, PhD
Department of Dental Materials and Biomaterials Research, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Aachen, Germany.
Andreas Blaeser, PhD
Department of Dental Materials and Biomaterials Research, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Aachen, Germany.
Thomas Schmitz-Rode, MD, PhD
Department of Biohybrid and Medical Textiles (BioTex), AME-Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering and ITA-Institut für Textiltechnik, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
Christian Apel, MD
Department of Biohybrid and Medical Textiles (BioTex), AME-Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering and ITA-Institut für Textiltechnik, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
Stefan Jockenhoevel, MD
Department of Biohybrid and Medical Textiles (BioTex), AME-Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering and ITA-Institut für Textiltechnik, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
Horst Fischer, PhD
Department of Dental Materials and Biomaterials Research, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Aachen, Germany.


These authors contributed equally to this work.
Address correspondence to:Stefan Jockenhoevel, MDDepartment of Biohybrid and Medical Textiles (BioTex)AME-Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical EngineeringRWTH Aachen UniversityPauwelsstraße 2052074 AachenGermanyE-mail: [email protected]

Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

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