Extrusion-Based 3D Bioprinting of Gradients of Stiffness, Cell Density, and Immobilized Peptide Using Thermogelling Hydrogels

ACS Biomater Sci Eng. 2021 Jun 14;7(6):2192-2197. doi: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.1c00183. Epub 2021 May 10.


To study biological processes in vitro, biomaterials-based engineering solutions to reproduce the gradients observed in tissues are necessary. We present a platform for the 3D bioprinting of functionally graded biomaterials based on carboxylated agarose, a bioink amendable by extrusion bioprinting. Using this bioink, objects with a gradient of stiffness and gradient of cell concentration were printed. Functionalization of carboxylated agarose with maleimide moieties that react in minutes with a cysteine-terminated cell-adhesion peptide allowed us to print objects with a gradient of an immobilized peptide. This approach paves the way toward the development of tissue mimics with gradients.

Keywords: agarose; anisotropy; polysaccharide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bioprinting*
  • Cell Count
  • Hydrogels
  • Peptides
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Tissue Scaffolds


  • Hydrogels
  • Peptides