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Optimising aerosol jet printing of collagen inks for enhanced piezoelectricity and controlled surface potential

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Inwald, Ella 
Ives, Liam 
See, Kirsten 
Kar-Narayan, Sohini  ORCID logo


jats:titleAbstract</jats:title> jats:pCollagen is a highly versatile protein used in tissue engineering constructs and as a model piezoelectric biomaterial. The piezoelectricity of collagen can be enhanced through the alignment of collagen domains and fibres, although most fabrication techniques used to form dense collagenous constructs do not allow for significant collagen alignment. The use of aerosol jet printing (AJP) mitigates the limitations of using soluble collagen inks for bioprinting or extrusion-based 3D printing, particularly if microfibrillar collagen suspensions are used as a cost-effective and scalable ink source. In this work, Type I and Type II microfibrillar collagen from different anatomical sources were successfully deposited using aerosol jet printing with two different atomisation methods, namely pneumatic (p-AJP) and ultrasonic (u-AJP). The printing parameters were optimised for their piezoelectric amplitude and surface potential. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectra of the films revealed that ultrasonic atomisation did not cause significant denaturation of collagen, although the process resulted in the fractionation and preferential deposition of the oligomeric and gelatinous components within the slurry. The printed collagen samples displayed a piezoelectric response that was 4 times higher than the values obtained from drop-cast collagen films, and their surface potential was found to be positively correlated to the roughness of the films which can be controlled through the mode of atomisation. These results indicate the ability to enhance and control the piezoelectricity and surface potential using p-AJP and u-AJP, which offers a promising physical modulation technique to tailor cell adhesion, proliferation or differentiation for collagen-based tissue engineering constructs.</jats:p>



40 Engineering, 4003 Biomedical Engineering

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Journal of Physics: Materials

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IOP Publishing
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (2277393)
European Research Council (639526)
This work was supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry Research Enablement Grant E20-8065. MN additionally acknowledges funding from Emmanuel College. LI acknowledges funding from an EP-SC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship (EP/R513180/1). KRMS was funded by the Peter and Carol Thrower Fund (Downing College). SK-N acknowledges support from the EPSRC Centre of Advanced Materials for Integrated Energy Systems "CAM-IES" (grant EP/P007767/1), and from the European Research Council (ERC) through a Starting Grant (ERC-2011-STG-639526, NANOGEN)
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