Nanoengineered Ionic-Covalent Entanglement (NICE) Bioinks for 3D Bioprinting. Academic Article uri icon


  • We introduce an enhanced nanoengineered ionic-covalent entanglement (NICE) bioink for the fabrication of mechanically stiff and elastomeric 3D biostructures. NICE bioink formulations combine nanocomposite and ionic-covalent entanglement (ICE) strengthening mechanisms to print customizable cell-laden constructs for tissue engineering with high structural fidelity and mechanical stiffness. Nanocomposite and ICE strengthening mechanisms complement each other through synergistic interactions, improving mechanical strength, elasticity, toughness, and flow properties beyond the sum of the effects of either reinforcement technique alone. Herschel-Bulkley flow behavior shields encapsulated cells from excessive shear stresses during extrusion. The encapsulated cells readily proliferate and maintain high cell viability over 120 days within the 3D-printed structure, which is vital for long-term tissue regeneration. A unique aspect of the NICE bioink is its ability to print much taller structures, with higher aspect ratios, than can be achieved with conventional bioinks without requiring secondary supports. We envision that NICE bioinks can be used to bioprint complex, large-scale, cell-laden constructs for tissue engineering with high structural fidelity and mechanical stiffness for applications in custom bioprinted scaffolds and tissue engineered implants.

published proceedings

  • ACS Appl Mater Interfaces

altmetric score

  • 20.45

author list (cited authors)

  • Chimene, D., Peak, C. W., Gentry, J. L., Carrow, J. K., Cross, L. M., Mondragon, E., ... Gaharwar, A. K.

citation count

  • 167

complete list of authors

  • Chimene, David||Peak, Charles W||Gentry, James L||Carrow, James K||Cross, Lauren M||Mondragon, Eli||Cardoso, Guinea B||Kaunas, Roland||Gaharwar, Akhilesh K

publication date

  • March 2018