Improved alginate bioink by enrichment with recombinant spider silk

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ICE Krakow

ICE Krakow

ul. Marii Konopnickiej 17 30-302 Kraków


Tavor Re'em, Tali (Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, Azrieli College of Engineering, Jerusalem )


Alginate, a natural linear polysaccharide polymer, extracted from brown seaweed, is extensively applied due to its biocompatibility, all- aqueous ease of handling and relatively low costs. Alginate easily forms a hydrogel when crosslinked with a bivalent ion, as calcium. However, Alginate hydrogel holds low mechanical properties and it is cell-inert. To overcome these drawbacks and to improve alginate as a bioink for bioprinting, we produced a new alginate matrix combined with spider silk, one of the most resilient, elastic, strong materials known to men. Recombinant spider silk biopolymer has a sponge-like structure and is known to be biocompatible and non-immunogenic.
Our results indicated that combining synthetic spider-silk, into bio-printed cell-seeded alginate hydrogels resulted in improved properties compared to alginate: improved mechanical properties of the matrix, achieving a tunable gel viscosity and high printability, alongside prolonged and higher cell viability in culture, probably due to the improved cell-matrix interactions. The new bioink was then used for a bilayer bioprinting of epithelial and stromal endometrial cells. Such a co-culture model will be used for the formation of the complex endometrial tissue, for studying embryo implantation process.


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