Advanced cell-instructive photo-hydrogels for laser-based high resolution 3D printing

01 January 2017 → 31 December 2020
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
No data available
tissue engineering hydrogels biomaterials 2PP poly(2-oxazoline)s gelatin
Project description

In this PhD project, photo-cross-linkable hydrogel building blocks based on natural gelatin and
synthetic poly(2-oxazoline) (PAOx) will be developed and processed into precisely engineered
hydrogels using two-photon polymerization (2PP). The hydrogel constructs will serve as a
biomimetic artificial 3D cell culture matrix and will be used as a tool to gain information on the
effect of the extracellular matrix (ECM) on the cells and to make tissue engineering in the future
more performing. As starting materials, gelatin and PAOx are chosen to introduce respectively cellinteractive
and mechanical properties in the hydrogel construct. Subsequently, a series of
modification strategies enabling photo-induced cross-linking will be elaborated to enable 2PP
processing. In order to accurately mimic the extracellular environment, the hydrogels need to be
precisely shaped in predesigned geometries. Therefore, 2PP will be used as a 3D printing
technique to optimally control the geometry and mechanical properties of the gels. Finally, all
developed materials will be subjected to cell tests in order to determine the cytocompatibility and
the correlation between the cell response and hydrogel matrix properties.