Three-dimensional printing of shape memory hydrogels with internal structure for drug delivery

Yongzhou Wang, Ying Miao, Jieling Zhang, Jian Ping Wu, Thomas Brett Kirk, Jiake Xu, Dong Ma, Wei Xue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrogels with shape memory behavior and internal structure have wide applications in fields ranging from tissue engineering and medical instruments to drug delivery; however, creating the hydrogels has proven to be extremely challenging. This study presents a three-dimensional (3D) printing technology to fabricate the shape memory hydrogels with internal structure (SMHs) by combining sodium alginate (alginate) and pluronic F127 diacrylate macromer (F127DA). SMHs were constituted by a dual network structure. One is a stable network which is formed by F127DA photo-crosslinking; the other one is a reversible network which is formed by Ca2 + cross-linked alginate. SMHs recovery ratio was 98.15% in 10 min after Ca2 + was removed in the Na2CO3 solution, and the elastic modulus remains essentially stable after the shape memory cycle. It showed that the drug releasing rate is more rapid compared with traditional drug-loaded hydrogels in in vitro experiments. The viability of 3T3 fibroblasts remained intact which revealed its excellent biocompatibility. Therefore, SMHs have a huge prospect for application in drug carriers and tissue engineering scaffold.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

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