AccScience Publishing / IJB / Online First / DOI: 10.36922/ijb.2632

Hydrogel bioink formulation for 3D bioprinting: Sustained delivery of PDGF-BB and VEGF in biomimetic scaffolds for tendon partial rupture repair

Sandra Ruiz-Alonso1,2,3 Jorge Ordoyo-Pascual1,2,3 Markel Lafuente-Merchan1,2,3 Fátima García-Villén1,2,3 Myriam Sainz-Ramos1,2,3 Idoia Gallego1,2,3 Laura Saenz- Del-Burgo1,2,3* Jose L. Pedraz1,2,3*
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1 NanoBioCel Research Group, Laboratory of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology, Department of Pharmacy and Food Science, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Paseo de la Universidad 7, 01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
2 Bioaraba, NanoBioCel Research Group, 01009 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
3 Networking Research Centre of Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), Institute of Health Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain
Submitted: 4 January 2024 | Accepted: 20 February 2024 | Published: 1 April 2024
© 2024 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( )

In the evolving field of tissue engineering, the power of three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting technology can be harnessed by innovative methodologies to address the complex challenges of treating partial tendon injuries. In order to engineer a solution for this type of musculoskeletal injuries, a biomimetic bioink and a scaffold developed using 3D bioprinting technology and capable of delivering cells and growth factors were investigated. For the development of the bioink, a hydrogel type structure was selected based on a strategic combination of alginate, hyaluronic acid, gelatin, and fibrinogen. This tailored combination exhibited favorable rheological behavior and impeccable printability. The bioink, demonstrating promising characteristics, was then employed to fabricate both acellular scaffolds and tissue constructs. The structures possessed mechanical properties suitable and adequate for addressing partial tendon injuries and achieved a microenvironment that allowed good metabolic activity of tenocytes, maintenance of their phenotype, and overexpression of genes related to macromolecules of tendon extracellular matrix. Regarding growth factors delivery, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB) were successfully incorporated into the bioink. Their release profile was thoroughly studied, and their activity once released was demonstrated. Together, these results suggest that the developed bioink and the resulting 3D structures can have an important impact on tendon partial injury therapies. The multifaceted capabilities of the bioink and the developed tissue constructs position them as crucial contributors to the advancement of tendon injury therapies, marking a significant stride toward enhanced patient outcomes and regenerative medicine practices.

Regenerative medicine
Growth factors delivery
Biomimetic bioink
Rheological behavior
Natural materials
Partial tendon injuries
This project was supported by the Basque Country Government (Consolidated Groups, IT1448-22) and by the TriAnkle European project (Horizon 2020 TriAnkle 952981-2). This research was also supported by CIBER-Consorcio Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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International Journal of Bioprinting, Electronic ISSN: 2424-8002 Print ISSN: 2424-7723, Published by AccScience Publishing