Bioprinted Injectable Hierarchically Porous Gelatin Methacryloyl Hydrogel Constructs with Shape-Memory Properties

Guoliang Ying, Nan Jiang, Carolina Parra-Cantu, Guosheng Tang, Jingyi Zhang, Hongjun Wang, Shixuan Chen, Ning Ping Huang, Jingwei Xie, Yu Shrike Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Direct injection of cell-laden hydrogels shows high potential for tissue regeneration in translational therapy. The traditional cell-laden hydrogels are often used as bulk space fillers to tissue defects after injection, likely limiting their structural controllability. On the other hand, patterned cell-laden hydrogel constructs often necessitate invasive surgical procedures. To overcome these problems, herein, a unique strategy is reported for encapsulating living human cells in a pore-forming gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA)-based bioink to ultimately produce injectable hierarchically macro-micro-nanoporous cell-laden GelMA hydrogel constructs through 3D extrusion bioprinting. The hydrogel constructs can be fabricated into various shapes and sizes that are defect-specific. Due to the hierarchically macro-micro-nanoporous structures, the cell-laden hydrogel constructs can readily recover to their original shapes, and sustain high cell viability, proliferation, spreading, and differentiation after compression and injection. In addition, in vivo studies further reveal that the hydrogel constructs can integrate well with the surrounding host tissues. These findings suggest that the unique 3D-bioprinted pore-forming GelMA hydrogel constructs are promising candidates for applications in minimally invasive tissue regeneration and cell therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2003740
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 11 2020


  • 3D bioprinting
  • injectable cell-laden hydrogels
  • pore-forming hydrogels
  • shape-memory hydrogels
  • tissue repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


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