Generalizing hydrogel microparticles into a new class of bioinks for extrusion bioprinting. Academic Article uri icon


  • Hydrogel microparticles (HMPs) are an emerging bioink that can allow three-dimensional (3D) printing of most soft biomaterials by improving physical support and maintaining biological functions. However, the mechanisms of HMP jamming within printing nozzles and yielding to flow remain underexplored. Here, we present an in-depth investigation via both experimental and computational methods on the HMP dissipation process during printing as a result of (i) external resistance from the printing apparatus and (ii) internal physicochemical properties of HMPs. In general, a small syringe opening, large or polydisperse size of HMPs, and less deformable HMPs induce high resistance and closer HMP packing, which improves printing fidelity and stability due to increased interparticle adhesion. However, smooth extrusion and preserving viability of encapsulated cells require low resistance during printing, which is associated with less shear stress. These findings can be used to improve printability of HMPs and facilitate their broader use in 3D bioprinting.

published proceedings

  • Sci Adv

altmetric score

  • 10.3

author list (cited authors)

  • Xin, S., Deo, K. A., Dai, J., Pandian, N., Chimene, D., Moebius, R. M., ... Alge, D. L.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Xin, Shangjing||Deo, Kaivalya A||Dai, Jing||Pandian, Navaneeth Krishna Rajeeva||Chimene, David||Moebius, Robert M||Jain, Abhishek||Han, Arum||Gaharwar, Akhilesh K||Alge, Daniel L

publication date

  • October 2021