Development of a 3D bioprinting system using a Co-Flow of calcium chloride mist

This paper describes a novel 3D bioprinting printhead that enables the fabrication of alginate constructs with strong layer adhesion and excellent shape fidelity. The developed printhead attachment is incorporated onto a commercial 3D bioprinter and enables both the delivery and collection of CaCl2 mist droplets to crosslink the alginate filaments within the printhead. It is shown that delivering and collecting CaCl2 in mist form prevents excess liquid from pooling on the print stage, which can cause over-gelation and disruption of the printed structure. The mist-based system also offers a wide range of adjustment of the size of the printed filament. Additionally, structures printed using this method are shown to be compatible with living cells. Overall, this development enables excellent printability of 3D hydrogel scaffolds for in-vitro tissue generation and drug discovery.

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