Direct laser writing of synthetic poly(amino acid) hydrogels and poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylates by two-photon polymerization.

Research paper by Elli E Käpylä, Tomáš T Sedlačík, Dogu Baran DB Aydogan, Jouko J Viitanen, František F Rypáček, Minna M Kellomäki

Indexed on: 02 Sep '14Published on: 02 Sep '14Published in: Materials Science and Engineering: C


The additive manufacturing technique of direct laser writing by two-photon polymerization (2PP-DLW) enables the fabrication of three-dimensional microstructures with superior accuracy and flexibility. When combined with biomimetic hydrogel materials, 2PP-DLW can be used to recreate the microarchitectures of the extracellular matrix. However, there are currently only a limited number of hydrogels applicable for 2PP-DLW. In order to widen the selection of synthetic biodegradable hydrogels, in this work we studied the 2PP-DLW of methacryloylated and acryloylated poly(α-amino acid)s (poly(AA)s). The performance of these materials was compared to widely used poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylates (PEGdas) in terms of polymerization and damage thresholds, voxel size, line width, post-polymerization swelling and deformation. We found that both methacryloylated and acryloylated poly(AA) hydrogels are suitable to 2PP-DLW with a wider processing window than PEGdas. The poly(AA) with the highest degree of acryloylation showed the greatest potential for 3D microfabrication.