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Bioinspired 3D printable pectin-nanocellulose ink formulations

Cernencu, Alexandra I., Lungu, Adriana, Stancu, Izabela-Cristina, Serafim, Andrada, Heggset, Ellinor, Syverud, Kristin, Iovu, Horia
Carbohydrate polymers 2019 v.220 pp. 12-21
carboxylation, cellulose, cellulose nanofibers, crosslinking, firmness, mechanical properties, micro-computed tomography, pectins, polymers, rehydration, viscoelasticity
The assessment of several ink formulations for 3D printing based on two natural macromolecular compounds is presented. In the current research we have exploited the fast crosslinking potential of pectin and the remarkable shear-thinning properties of carboxylated cellulose nanofibrils, which is known to induce a desired viscoelastic behavior. Prior to 3D printing, the viscoelastic properties of the polysaccharide inks were evaluated by rheological measurements and injectability tests. The reliance of the printing parameters on the ink composition was established through one-dimensional lines printing, the base units of 3D-structures. The performance of the 3D-printed structures after ionic cross-linking was evaluated in terms of mechanical properties and rehydration behavior. MicroCT was also used to evaluate the morphology of the 3D-printed objects regarding the effect of pectin/nanocellulose ratio on the geometrical features of scaffolds. The proportionality between the two polymers proved to be the determining factor for the firmness and strength of the printed objects.