We describe herein a nanocellulose-alginate hydrogel suitable for 3D printing. The composition of the hydrogel was optimized based on material characterization methods and 3D printing experiments, and its behavior during the printing process was studied using computational fluid dynamics simulations. The hydrogel was biofunctionalized by the covalent coupling of an enhanced avidin protein to the cellulose nanofibrils. Ionic cross-linking of the hydrogel using calcium ions improved the performance of the material. The resulting hydrogel is suitable for 3D printing, its mechanical properties indicate good tissue compatibility, and the hydrogel absorbs water in moist conditions, suggesting potential in applications such as wound dressings. The biofunctionalization potential was shown by attaching a biotinylated fluorescent protein and a biotinylated fluorescent small molecule via avidin and monitoring the material using confocal microscopy. The 3D-printable bioactivated nanocellulose-alginate hydrogel offers a platform for the development of biomedical devices, wearable sensors, and drug-releasing materials.
- 3D printing
- wound healing