Gelatin Bioprinting

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Overview

Gelatin is a sacrificial bioink that can be used for temporary support or to create channels, vessels, or vasculature for bioprinting purposes. Through reversible thermal gelation, gelatin remains solid at room temperature and can be melted away at 37°C.  The recommended use for gelatin as a sacrificial material is as a FRESH support material. Below are results from printing gelatin individually. This protocol gives you step-by-step instructions for 3D bioprinting using gelatin.

Fig 1: Brightfield image of a gelatin lattice printed at 10mm/s

Storage and Handling

Gelatin should be stored at room temperature in a dry environment.

You Will Need

In addition to gelatin, you will also need:

Gelatin was dissolved in deionized water at 60°C in formulations of 5% (w/v) or 10% (w/v), then loaded into a syringe to half the total syringe volume and allowed to cool to room temperature. Print files of lines (included below) were completed at varying speeds and pressures. Three prints were completed at each setting and analyzed with ImageJ software.

Print Settings

Gelatin Concentration (%)Layer Height (mm) Speed (mm/s)Pressure (PSI)Temperature (°C)GaugeResolution (mm)
50.31022RT1.25″ tapered 25G0.90 ± 0.10
50.31215RT1.25″ tapered 25G0.59 ± 0.14
50.31422RT1.25″ tapered 25G0.72 ± 0.10
100.31463RT1.25″ tapered 25G0.43 ± 0.21

Gcode Files

Figure 1: Lines of 5% gelatin printed at 10 mm/s (A), 12 mm/s (B), 14 mm/s (C) and 10% gelatin printed at 14 mm/s (D). Scale bars at 0.5 mm.
Figure 1: Lines of 5% gelatin printed at 10 mm/s (A), 12 mm/s (B), 14 mm/s (C) and 10% gelatin printed at 14 mm/s (D). Scale bars at 0.5 mm.

After printed lines, Z-stack tests were completed with both 5% and 10% gelatin at 14 mm/s. 5% gelatin was able to support itself up to 1 mm height, while 10% gelatin was able to support itself up to 5 mm.

* If you are using cells, you must also complete all steps in a sterile environment in addition to sterile-filtering your gelatin.

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