3D cell bioprinting of self-assembling peptide-based hydrogels
Bioprinting of 3D cell-laden constructs with well-defined architectures and controlled spatial distribution of cells is gaining importance in the field of Tissue Engineering. New 3D tissue models are being developed to study the complex cellular interactions that take place during both tissue development and in the regeneration of damaged and/or diseased tissues. Despite advances in 3D printing technologies, suitable hydrogels or ‘bioinks’ with enhanced printability and cell viability are lacking. Here we report a study on the 3D bioprinting of a novel group of self-assembling peptide-based hydrogels. Our results demonstrate the ability of the system to print well-defined 3D cell laden constructs with variable stiffness and improved structural integrity, whilst providing a cell-friendly extracellular matrix ‘‘like” microenvironment. Biological assays reveal that mammary epithelial cells remain viable after 7 days of in vitro culture, independent of the hydrogel stiffness.