A Dual-sensitive Hydrogel Based on Poly(Lactide-co-Glycolide)-Polyethylene Glycol- Poly(Lactide-co-Glycolide) Block Copolymers for 3D Printing

Yang Zhou, Yuecheng Cui, Li-Qun Wang

Article ID: 389
Vol 7, Issue 3, 2021, Article identifier:389

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The thermo-sensitive hydrogel formed by triblock copolymers of polyethylene glycols and aliphatic polyesters serves as a promising candidate for bioink due to its excellent biodegradability and biocompatibility. However, the thermo crosslinking alone cannot achieve a robust hydrogel to support the 3D printed constructs without collapse. Herein, a photocrosslinkable group was introduced into the triblock copolymers to achieve a dual-sensitive hydrogel. A triblock copolymer poly(lactide-co-glycolide)-polyethylene glycol-poly(lactide-co-glycolide) decorated with acrylate group in the chain end was prepared. The obtained aqueous solutions of the copolymers could transform into hydrogels with excellent shear thinning properties and rapid elastic recovery properties spontaneously on the increase of temperature. The resulted thermogels also allowed for photo-crosslinking by exposure to ultraviolet radiation, with storage modulus dramatically increased to stable the printed constructs. Through a two-step crosslinking strategy, complicated tissue-like constructs with high shape fidelity can be printed using the dual-sensitive inks. Moreover, the mechanical strength, swelling ratio, and printability of the hydrogels can be tuned by varying the substitution rate of the acrylate group without compromising the inks’ extrudability. We expect that the dual-sensitive hydrogels may be used as bioinks to print large constructs for applications in tissue engineering.


3D bioprinting; Dual-sensitive hydrogels; Poly(lactide-co-glycolide)-polyethylene glycol-poly(lactide-coglycolide); Injectable hydrogels

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18063/ijb.v7i3.389


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