Sodium Alginate Hydrogel-Based Bioprinting Using a Novel Multinozzle Bioprinting System


  • Presented in part at the 7th International Conference on Pediatric Mechanical Circulatory Support Systems and Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Perfusion held May 5–7, 2011 in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Dr. Jaesoon Choi, PhD, Korea Artificial Organ Center, Korea University Hospital, 126-1 Anam-5-ga, Seongbuk, Seoul 136-705, Korea. E-mail:


Bioprinting is a technology for constructing bioartificial tissue or organs of complex three-dimensional (3-D) structure with high-precision spatial shape forming ability in larger scale than conventional tissue engineering methods and simultaneous multiple components composition ability. It utilizes computer-controlled 3-D printer mechanism or solid free-form fabrication technologies. In this study, sodium alginate hydrogel that can be utilized for large-dimension tissue fabrication with its fast gelation property was studied regarding material-specific printing technique and printing parameters using a multinozzle bioprinting system developed by the authors. A sodium alginate solution was prepared with a concentration of 1% (wt/vol), and 1% CaCl2 solution was used as cross-linker for the gelation. The two materials were loaded in each of two nozzles in the multinozzle bioprinting system that has a total of four nozzles of which the injection speed can be independently controlled. A 3-D alginate structure was fabricated through layer-by-layer printing. Each layer was formed through two phases of printing, the first phase with the sodium alginate solution and the second phase with the calcium chloride solution, in identical printing pattern and speed condition. The target patterns were lattice shaped with 2-mm spacing and two different line widths. The nozzle moving speed was 6.67 mm/s, and the injection head speed was 10 µm/s. For the two different line widths, two injection needles with inner diameters of 260 and 410 µm were used. The number of layers accumulated was five in this experiment. By varying the nozzle moving speed and the injection speed, various pattern widths could be achieved. The feasibility of sodium alginate hydrogel free-form formation by alternate printing of alginate solution and sodium chloride solution was confirmed in the developed multinozzle bioprinting system.