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Review Article

Advances in Stimuli-responsive Hydrogels for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Applications: A Review Towards Improving Structural Design for 3D Printing

[ Vol. 29 , Issue. 40 ]


Mduduzi Nkosinathi Sithole, Hillary Mndlovu, Lisa C. du Toit and Yahya Essop Choonara*   Pages 3187 - 3205 ( 19 )


The physicochemical properties of polymeric hydrogels render them attractive for the development of 3D printed prototypes for tissue engineering in regenerative medicine. Significant effort has been made to design hydrogels with desirable attributes that facilitate 3D printability. In addition, there is significant interest in exploring stimuli-responsive hydrogels to support automated 3D printing into more structurally organised prototypes such as customizable bio-scaffolds for regenerative medicine applications. Synthesizing stimuli-responsive hydrogels is dependent on the type of design and modulation of various polymeric materials to open novel opportunities for applications in biomedicine and bio-engineering. In this review, the salient advances made in the design of stimuli-responsive polymeric hydrogels for 3D printing in tissue engineering are discussed with a specific focus on the different methods of manipulation to develop 3D printed stimuli-responsive polymeric hydrogels. Polymeric functionalisation, nano-enabling and crosslinking are amongst the most common manipulative attributes that affect the assembly and structure of 3D printed bio-scaffolds and their stimuli- responsiveness. The review also provides a concise incursion into the various applications of stimuli to enhance the automated production of structurally organized 3D printed medical prototypes.


Polymeric hydrogels, 3D printing, stimuli-responsive polymeric hydrogels, scaffolds, hydrogel stimuli properties, tissue engineering.


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