Fibre-infused gel scaffolds guide cardiomyocyte alignment in 3D-printed ventricles

Suji Choi, Keel Yong Lee, Sean L. Kim, Luke A. MacQueen, Huibin Chang, John F. Zimmerman, Qianru Jin, Michael M. Peters, Herdeline Ann M. Ardoña, Xujie Liu, Ann Caroline Heiler, Rudy Gabardi, Collin Richardson, William T. Pu, Andreas R. Bausch, Kevin Kit Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Hydrogels are attractive materials for tissue engineering, but efforts to date have shown limited ability to produce the microstructural features necessary to promote cellular self-organization into hierarchical three-dimensional (3D) organ models. Here we develop a hydrogel ink containing prefabricated gelatin fibres to print 3D organ-level scaffolds that recapitulate the intra- and intercellular organization of the heart. The addition of prefabricated gelatin fibres to hydrogels enables the tailoring of the ink rheology, allowing for a controlled sol–gel transition to achieve precise printing of free-standing 3D structures without additional supporting materials. Shear-induced alignment of fibres during ink extrusion provides microscale geometric cues that promote the self-organization of cultured human cardiomyocytes into anisotropic muscular tissues in vitro. The resulting 3D-printed ventricle in vitro model exhibited biomimetic anisotropic electrophysiological and contractile properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1039-1046
Number of pages8
JournalNature Materials
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023


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