Rapid 3D printing of anatomically accurate and mechanically heterogeneous aortic valve hydrogel scaffolds

L. A. Hockaday, K. H. Kang, N. W. Colangelo, P. Y.C. Cheung, B. Duan, E. Malone, J. Wu, L. N. Girardi, L. J. Bonassar, H. Lipson, C. C. Chu, J. T. Butcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

346 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aortic valve exhibits complex three-dimensional (3D) anatomy and heterogeneity essential for the long-term efficient biomechanical function. These are, however, challenging to mimic in de novo engineered living tissue valve strategies. We present a novel simultaneous 3D printing/photocrosslinking technique for rapidly engineering complex, heterogeneous aortic valve scaffolds. Native anatomic and axisymmetric aortic valve geometries (root wall and tri-leaflets) with 12-22mm inner diameters (ID) were 3D printed with poly-ethylene glycol-diacrylate (PEG-DA) hydrogels (700 or 8000 MW) supplemented with alginate. 3D printing geometric accuracy was quantified and compared using Micro-CT. Porcine aortic valve interstitial cells (PAVIC) seeded scaffolds were cultured for up to 21days. Results showed that blended PEG-DA scaffolds could achieve over tenfold range in elastic modulus (5.3±0.9 to 74.6±1.5 kPa). 3D printing times for valve conduits with mechanically contrasting hydrogels were optimized to 14 to 45min, increasing linearly with conduit diameter. Larger printed valves had greater shape fidelity (93.3±2.6, 85.1±2.0 and 73.3±5.2% for 22, 17 and 12mm ID porcine valves; 89.1±4.0, 84.1±5.6 and 66.6±5.2% for simplified valves). PAVIC seeded scaffolds maintained near 100% viability over 21days. These results demonstrate that 3D hydrogel printing with controlled photocrosslinking can rapidly fabricate anatomical heterogeneous valve conduits that support cell engraftment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035005
JournalBiofabrication
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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