Volltext-Downloads (blau) und Frontdoor-Views (grau)

Homogeneous and reproducible mixing of highly viscous biomaterial inks and cell suspensions to create bioinks

  • Highly viscous bioinks offer great advantages for the three-dimensional fabrication of cell-laden constructs by microextrusion printing. However, no standardised method of mixing a high viscosity biomaterial ink and a cell suspension has been established so far, leading to non-reproducible printing results. A novel method for the homogeneous and reproducible mixing of the two components using a mixing unit connecting two syringes is developed and investigated. Several static mixing units, based on established mixing designs, were adapted and their functionality was determined by analysing specific features of the resulting bioink. As a model system, we selected a highly viscous ink consisting of fresh frozen human blood plasma, alginate, and methylcellulose, and a cell suspension containing immortalized human mesenchymal stem cells. This bioink is crosslinked after fabrication. A pre-crosslinked gellan gum-based bioink providing a different extrusion behaviour was introduced to validate the conclusions drawn from the model system. For characterisation, bioink from different zones within the mixing device was analysed by measurement of its viscosity, shape fidelity after printing and visual homogeneity. When taking all three parameters into account, a comprehensive and reliable comparison of the mixing quality was possible. In comparison to the established method of manual mixing inside a beaker using a spatula, a significantly higher proportion of viable cells was detected directly after mixing and plotting for both bioinks when the mixing unit was used. A screw-like mixing unit, termed “HighVisc”, was found to result in a homogenous bioink after a low number of mixing cycles while achieving high cell viability rates.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Additional Services

Search Google Scholar


Author of HS ReutlingenKluger, Petra
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Journal article
Publication year:2021
Tag:alginate; bioprinting; gellan gum; highly viscous bioink; methylcellulose; plasma; plotting; static mixer
Page Number:17
Article Number:227
DDC classes:540 Chemie
Open access?:Ja
Licence (German):License Logo  Creative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International