"3D Printing of Biodegradable Gelatin-Based Biogels"
3D Printing of Biodegradable Gelatin-Based Biogels
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In the past years gelatin-based hydrogels have received more and more attention because of their great potential in various fields like soft robotics, tissue engineering and biomedical applications. Great work had been done in developing different methods to 3d-print those hydrogels, which are not necessarily biodegradable or edible, by making use of certain crosslinking mechanisms. Printability in general requires crosslinking agents that account for a fast and easy to control gelation process. Most of those agents are either not biocompatible, -degradable, not edible or they make the hydrogel not reusable because of irreversible crosslinking. Therefore I am using a gelatine-based hydrogel which fulfils all those characteristics and additionally is recyclable due to its thermoreversibility. In the course of this thesis I present a customized 3d-printer to print this hydrogel by controlling the viscosity of the liquid gel while speeding up the gelation process by cooling the printing chamber. By finding suitable printing parameters in my experiments, I demonstrate successful prints of three dimensional objects. The printed samples are mechanically characterized while taking account for the influences of the extrusion process on the mechanical properties. Those properties then are compared to samples prepared by other methods. Furthermore I demonstrate a simple recycling procedure of the printed hydrogel using the same printer and show some outlooks for further applications of the printer.