High cell viability, good printing resolution and mechanically stable constructs are challenging goals that must be addressed to apply biofabrication processes for tissue regeneration applications. The objective of this project is to apply fiber-reinforced composite bioinks to overcome the issues of cell-harming shear forces upon printing on the one side, and the lack of shape fidelity and mechanical stability of the resulting constructs on the other side. Incorporation of fiber fragments is hypothesized to provide aligned supportive structures for cells and simultaneously increase the volume of plug flow with reduced shear forces on the cells. Furthermore, shape fidelity and mechanical strength should be improved using mechanically stable filler materials.
To quantify these effects and systematically describe the resulting material characteristics, viscoelastic models are applied to fit the measured. This potentially leads towards advanced material understanding and allowing predictability in the design of new bioinks with this transferable composite system.