Digital light processing bioprinting favors biofabrication of tissues with improved structural complexity. However, soft-tissue fabrication with this method remains a challenge to balance the physical performances of the bioinks for high-fidelity bioprinting and suitable microenvironments for the encapsulated cells to thrive. Here, we propose a molecular cleavage approach, where hyaluronic acid methacrylate (HAMA) is mixed with gelatin methacryloyl to achieve high-performance bioprinting, followed by selectively enzymatic digestion of HAMA, resulting in tissue-matching mechanical properties without losing the structural complexity and fidelity. Our method allows cellular morphological and functional improvements across multiple bioprinted tissue types featuring a wide range of mechanical stiffness, from the muscles to the brain, the softest organ of the human body. This platform endows us to biofabricate mechanically precisely tunable constructs to meet the biological function requirements of target tissues, potentially paving the way for broad applications in tissue and tissue model engineering.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)