Many soft tissues of the human body such as cartilages, muscles, and ligaments are mainly composed of biological hydrogels possessing excellent mechanical properties and delicate structures. Nowadays, bio-inspired hydrogels have been intensively explored due to their promising potential applications in tissue engineering. However, the traditional manufacturing technology is challenging to produce the bio-inspired hydrogels, and the typical biological composite topologies of bio-inspired hydrogels are accessible completed using 3D bioprinting at micrometer resolution. In this chapter, the 3D bioprinting techniques used for the fabrication of bio-inspired hydrogels were summarized, and the materials used were outlined. This chapter also focuses on the applications of bio-inspired hydrogels fabricated using available 3D bioprinting technologies. The development of 3D bioprinting techniques in the future would bring us closer to the fabrication capabilities of living organisms, which would be widely used in biomedical applications.
Part of the book: Biomimetics
Alginate has received much attention due to its biocompatibility. However, the properties of pure alginate are limited, such as weak mechanical strength, which limits its application. Alginate-based composite effectively overcomes the defect of pure alginate. The molecular weight and microstructure can be designed. More importantly, the essential properties for clinical application are improved, including mechanical properties, biocompatibility, gelation ability, chondrogenic differentiation and cell proliferation. This chapter will describe development of alginate-based composite in biomedical application. In the fields of wound dressing, drug delivery, and tissue engineering, the impact of structural changes on performance has been stated. To provide readers with understanding of this chapter, the structure and characterization of alginate will be included.
Part of the book: Properties and Applications of Alginates