Effect of cross-linking on the dimensional stability and biocompatibility of a tailored 3D-bioprinted gelatin scaffold

Dong Jin Choi, Young Jae Kho, Sang Jun Park, Young Jin Kim, Seok Chung, Chun Ho Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Biocompatible and biodegradable gelatin is a good candidate bioink for use in 3D bioprinting technologies, but viscous gelatin solution has a low printability. In order to improve the poor printability of gelatin, we optimized the rheological properties of gelatin solution. 3D gelatin scaffolds were then cross-linked using physical or chemical methods to maintain the 3D structure. The physicochemical and biological differences between the two types of cross-linked gelatin scaffolds were studied. Scanning electron microscopy images revealed that the morphologies of the resulting cross-linked 3D scaffolds maintained their structural stabilities. The physically cross-linked 3D scaffolds maintained their surface sizes without a significant decrease (less than a 3% reduction in the surface size was observed)after cross-linking. To evaluate the differences in cell affinity by two types of cross-linking method, human dermal fibroblasts cultured on the cross-linked 3D scaffolds. After 14 days of culturing, DNA assays showed that the cell proliferation rate of the physically cross-linked 3D scaffold was 44% higher than that of the chemically cross-linked 3D scaffold. In conclusion, the optimized physically cross-linked 3D scaffold retained its surface size without significant decreases after cross-linking, as required by 3D-printed patient-specific tissue engineered customized scaffolds, despite the use of water-soluble gelatin hydrogels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-667
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug 15


  • 3D bioprinting
  • Cross-linking
  • Dried heat treatment
  • Gelatin hydrogel
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Energy(all)


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