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Support Medium For 3d Printing Of Biomaterials

Building materials for 3D bioprinting generally possess weak mechanical properties and thus must be supported during fabrication in order to prevent the collapse of the printouts.  Here we present a uniquely formulated media used to support free-form printing of cell-containing extracellular matrix-based biomaterials and other soft substances. Our formulation presents an exclusive combination of desirable properties such as biocompatibility, high transparency, thermo-stability and amenability to delicate extraction procedures. Importantly, it allows printing at very high resolution, while preserving fabrication accuracy during long fabrication processes. 
Up until now, support media were mainly prepared from particulate matter, either comprised of synthetic materials (Carbolol, Laponite etc.) or from animal-derived biomolecules (gelatin). While the synthetic materials present features like transparency and heat-stability, their evacuation involves mechanical washing or other harsh means that may jeopardize the integrity of delicate structures. The gelatin based support media, on the other hand, can be extracted by heating to 37 centigrade. However, such rapid, thermal release procedure would not suit many commonly used bioinks that require prolong curing at elevated temperatures. Additionally, they present with low transparency.
We developed a supporting medium that allows for free-form high-resolution (down to 10 µm), long-term embedded printing of soft materials, and particularly of cell-containing extracellular matrix-based biomaterials for tissue and organ engineering.
• Biocompatible
• Fully transparent
• Thermally stable
• Enable printout extraction by a controllable, cell-friendly treatment
• Clinical (tissue engineering and regenerative medicine)
• Pharmaceutical (drug screening and testing)
• Industrial (3D fabrication of soft polymers)
• Academic research (modeling of living tissues and organs) 

1. Noor, N. et al. 3D Printing of Personalized Thick and Perfusable Cardiac Patches and Hearts. Advanced Science 6, 1900344 (2019).