Nanocomposite Conductive Bioinks Based on Low-Concentration GelMA and MXene Nanosheets/Gold Nanoparticles Providing Enhanced Printability of Functional Skeletal Muscle Tissues

Selwa Boularaoui, Aya Shanti, Michele Lanotte, Shaohong Luo, Sarah Bawazir, Sungmun Lee, Nicolas Christoforou, Kamran A. Khan, Cesare Stefanini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is a growing need to develop novel well-characterized biological inks (bioinks) that are customizable for three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting of specific tissue types. Gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) is one such candidate bioink due to its biocompatibility and tunable mechanical properties. Currently, only low-concentration GelMA hydrogels (≤5% w/v) are suitable as cell-laden bioinks, allowing high cell viability, elongation, and migration. Yet, they offer poor printability. Herein, we optimize GelMA bioinks in terms of concentration and cross-linking time for improved skeletal muscle C2C12 cell spreading in 3D, and we augment these by adding gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) or a two-dimensional (2D) transition metal carbide (MXene nanosheets) for enhanced printability and biological properties. AuNP and MXene addition endowed GelMA with increased conductivity (up to 0.8 ± 0.07 and 0.9 ± 0.12 S/m, respectively, compared to 0.3 ± 0.06 S/m for pure GelMA). Furthermore, it resulted in an improvement of rheological properties and printability, specifically at 10 °C. Improvements in electrical and rheological properties led to enhanced differentiation of encapsulated myoblasts and allowed for printing highly viable (97%) stable constructs. Taken together, these results constitute a significant step toward fabrication of 3D conductive tissue constructs with physiological relevance.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)5810-5822
Number of pages13
JournalACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering
Volume7
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • 3D bioprinting
  • GelMA
  • gold nanoparticles
  • MXene nanosheets
  • skeletal tissue

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