Ji Youn Shin (a), Yong Ho Yeo (a), Jae Eun Jeong (b), Su A. Park (b), Won Ho Park (a)
Thermo-sensitive methylcellulose (MC) hydrogel has been widely used as a scaffold material for biomedical applications. However, due to its poor mechanical properties, the MC-based hydrogel has rarely been employed in 3D bioprinting for tissue engineering scaffolds. In this study, the dual crosslinkable tyramine-modified MC (MC-Tyr) conjugate was prepared via a two-step synthesis, and its hydrogel showed excellent mechanical properties and printability for 3D bioprinting applications. The MC-Tyr conjugate formed a dual-crosslinked hydrogel by modulating the temperature and/or visible light. A combination of reversible physical crosslinking (thermal crosslinking) and irreversible chemical crosslinking (photocrosslinking) was used in this dual crosslinked hydrogel. Also, the photocrosslinking of MC-Tyr solution was facilitated by visible light exposure in the presence of biocompatible photoinitiators (riboflavin, RF and riboflavin 5’-monophophate, RFp). The RF and RFp were used to compare the cytotoxicity and salting-out effect of MC-Tyr hydrogel, as well as the initiation ability, based on the difference in chemical structure. Also, the influence of the printing parameters on the printed MC hydrogel was investigated. Finally, the cell-laden MC-Tyr bioink was successfully extruded into stable 3D hydrogel constructs with high resolution via a dual crosslinking strategy. Furthermore, the MC-Tyr scaffolds showed excellent cell viability and proliferation.