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Rheology and Additive Manufacturing of Nanocomposite Hydrogels for Applications in Regenerative Medicine


Nanocomposite hydrogels have been considered materials with great potentioal in biomedical applications such as scaffolds biofabrication for tissue engineering, drug delivery systems and injectable system for bone and cartilage regeneration. The main characteristic of these systems is the presence of nanoparticles that promote physical interactions with the chains of one or more polymers, resulting in materials with unique mechanical and rheological properties, such as high shear thinning e self healing. This Project consists in the development of nancomposite hydrogel scaffolds of biocompatible polymers using additive manufacturing (AM), using the extrusion deposition method. The systems to be studied will be composed by the polymers alginate or Konjac glucomannan, where the particulate phase will be composed by Laponite or nanocellulose. In order to identify the ideal compositions for scaffolds three-dimensional printing, rheological characterization of polymer/nanoparticles aqueous solutions or dispersions will be performed, where the compositions where AM is viable will be obtained, as well as correlate the rheological properties with the hydrogel structure. Once the scaffolds are obtained, they will be crosslinked and characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTRI) and rheological analysis. Mechanical properties under compression will also be evaluated. In vitro tests with adipose tissue mesenchymal stem cells (AT-MSCs) will be performed in order to evaluate the biocompatibility and biological viability of the scaffolds for tissue engineering applications. Preliminary results of this Project show the viability of its execution. (AU)