Gold Nanocomposite Bioink for Printing 3D Cardiac Constructs

Kai Zhu, Su Ryon Shin, Tim van Kempen, Yi Chen Li, Vidhya Ponraj, Amir Nasajpour, Serena Mandla, Ning Hu, Xiao Liu, Jeroen Leijten, Yi Dong Lin, Mohammad Asif Hussain, Yu Shrike Zhang, Ali Tamayol, Ali Khademhosseini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Bioprinting is the most convenient microfabrication method to create biomimetic three-dimensional (3D) cardiac tissue constructs, that can be used to regenerate damaged tissue and provide platforms for drug screening. However, existing bioinks, which are usually composed of polymeric biomaterials, are poorly conductive and delay efficient electrical coupling between adjacent cardiac cells. To solve this problem, a gold nanorod (GNR)-incorporated gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA)-based bioink is developed for printing 3D functional cardiac tissue constructs. The GNR concentration is adjusted to create a proper microenvironment for the spreading and organization of cardiac cells. At optimized concentrations of GNR, the nanocomposite bioink has a low viscosity, similar to pristine inks, which allows for the easy integration of cells at high densities. As a result, rapid deposition of cell-laden fibers at a high resolution is possible, while reducing shear stress on the encapsulated cells. In the printed GNR constructs, cardiac cells show improved cell adhesion and organization when compared to the constructs without GNRs. Furthermore, the incorporated GNRs bridge the electrically resistant pore walls of polymers, improve the cell-to-cell coupling, and promote synchronized contraction of the bioprinted constructs. Given its advantageous properties, this gold nanocomposite bioink may find wide application in cardiac tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1605352
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 24 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • alginate
  • bioprinting
  • cardiac tissue engineering
  • gelatin
  • gold nanorods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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