AccScience Publishing / IJB / Online First / DOI: 10.36922/ijb.3223

Exploring the potential of supramolecular hydrogels as advanced bioinks for bioprinting and biomedical applications

Gopinathan Janarthanan1 Shyam Kokkattunivarthil Uthaman2 Karthik Murugesh2 Sanjairaj Vijayavenkataraman1,3*
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1 The Vijay Lab, Division of Engineering, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
2 Research and Development Department, EcoWorld Pharm Co. Ltd, Damyang-gun, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
3 Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Tandon School of Engineering, New York University, Brooklyn, New York, United States of America
Submitted: 20 March 2024 | Accepted: 2 May 2024 | Published: 11 June 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 ( )

Supramolecular hydrogels have emerged as versatile bioinks in tissue engineering, providing a promising avenue for constructing intricate and functional biological structures. This paper explores the significance of employing supramolecular hydrogels as advanced bioinks for three-dimensional bioprinting and various biomedical applications. Supramolecular hydrogels possess distinct and tunable characteristics attributed to the dynamic nature of supramolecular host–guest interactions alongside interactions based on DNA and peptides, which increases their significance in tissue engineering. These interactions are essential for enhancing the mechanical properties, injectability, printability, post-printing stability, and biocompatibility of hydrogels. Gelation kinetics and rheological properties can also be manipulated to suit specific printing techniques. Furthermore, these supramolecular interactions facilitate the incorporation of bioactive molecules to regulate cellular behavior and tissue development. These diverse interactions observed in supramolecular hydrogels underscore their ability to emulate the dynamic and responsive nature of the cell’s extracellular matrix, which fosters cell growth, adherence, and differentiation. This review specifically highlights the cucurbit[n]uril and cyclodextrin-based host–guest supramolecular hydrogels, as well as peptide and DNA-based supramolecular structures as advanced bioinks and brief examples of their applications in various biomedical fields. These advanced bioinks would drive the development of intricate tissue constructs with enhanced biomimicry and therapeutic potential in regenerative medicine.

Supramolecular hydrogels
Advanced bioinks
3D bioprinting
DNA bioinks
Peptide bioinks
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. S.V. was supported by the start-up funds from the New York University, Abu Dhabi.
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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