University of Oulu

ACS Appl. Bio Mater. 2020, 3, 9, 6510–6520,

Utilizing the natural composition of brown seaweed for the preparation of hybrid ink for 3D printing of hydrogels

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Author: Berglund, Linn1; Rakar, Jonathan2; Junker, Johan P. E.2;
Organizations: 1Division of Materials Science, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden
2The Center for Disaster Medicine and Traumatology, and Experimental Plastic Surgery, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
3Division of Fluid and Experimental Mechanics, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden
4Fibre and Particle Engineering, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
5Mechanical & Industrial Engineering (MIE), University of Toronto, M5S 3G8 Toronto, Canada
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 10.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Chemical Society, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-01-19


This study aims to utilize the natural composition of brown seaweed by deriving alginate and cellulose concurrently from the stipe (stem-like) and blade (leaf-like) structures of the seaweed; further, this is followed by fibrillation for the direct and resource-efficient preparation of alginate/cellulose nanofiber (CNF) hybrid inks for three-dimensional (3D) printing of hydrogels. The efficiency of the fibrillation process was evaluated, and the obtained gels were further studied with regard to their rheological behavior. As a proof of concept, the inks were 3D printed into discs, followed by cross-linking with CaCl₂ to form biomimetic hydrogels. It was shown that the nanofibrillation process from both seaweed structures is very energy-efficient, with an energy demand lower than 1.5 kW h/kg, and with CNF dimensions below 15 nm. The inks displayed excellent shear-thinning behavior and cytocompatibility and were successfully printed into 3D discs that, after cross-linking, exhibited an interconnected network structure with favorable mechanical properties, and a cell viability of 71%. The designed 3D biomimetic hydrogels offers an environmentally benign, cost-efficient, and biocompatible material platform with a favorable structure for the development of biomedical devices, such as 3D bio printing of soft tissues.

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Series: ACS applied bio materials
ISSN: 2576-6422
ISSN-E: 2576-6422
ISSN-L: 2576-6422
Volume: 3
Issue: 9
Pages: 6510 - 6520
DOI: 10.1021/acsabm.0c00920
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 221 Nanotechnology
Funding: The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, Interreg Nord, Bio4Energy, and Kempe Foundations and Lucas Gerardin and Boris Valldecabres for their assistance on the preparation and testing of the films.
Copyright information: © 2020 American Chemical Society. This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium,provided the author and source are cited.