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Rheological study on 3D printability of alginate hydrogel and effect of graphene oxide

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Huijun Li, Sijun Liu, Li Lin


In recent years, hydrogels have been used as important biomaterials for 3D printing of three dimensional tissues or organs. The key issue for printing a successful scaffold is the selection of a material with a good printability. Rheological properties of hydrogels are believed to pay an important role in 3D printability. However the relations between rheological properties of hydrogels and 3D printability have not been extensively studied. In this study, alginate-based hydrogels were prepared as a model material for an extrusion-based printer and graphene oxide was added to modify the rheological properties and 3D printability of the hydrogels. Rheological studies were performed for the hydrogel samples with different formulas. The range of shear rates that the hydrogels suffered during the printing process was deduced. This range of shear rates helped us to select a proper shear rate to investigate the thixotropic properties of the hydrogels. Furthermore, we also defined some measureable parameters to describe and discuss the quality of 3D printing. The present study shows a new approach to analysis of 3D printability of a hydrogel and also provides some suggestion for 3D printing of 3D scaffolds.


printability; rheology; 3D printing; alginate hydrogel; graphene oxide

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