The development of three-dimensional (3D)-printable inks is essential for several applications, from industrial manufacturing to novel applications for biomedical engineering. Remarkably, biomaterials for tissue engineering applications can be expanded to other new horizons; for instance, restoration of rigid living systems as coral reefs is an emergent need derived from recent issues from climate change. The coral reefs have been endangered, which can be observed in the increasing bleaching around the world. Very few studies report eco-friendly inks for matter since most conventional approaches require synthetic polymer, which at some point could be a pollutant depending on the material. Therefore, there is an unmet need for cost-effective formulations from eco-friendly materials for 3D manufacturing to develop carbonate-based inks for coral reef restoration. Our value proposition derives from technologies developed for regenerative medicine, commonly applied for human tissues like bone and cartilage. In our case, we created a novel biomaterial formulation from biopolymers such as gelatin methacrylate, poly (ethylene glycol diacrylate), alginate, and gelatin as scaffold and binder for the calcium carbonate and hydroxyapatite bioceramics needed to mimic the structure of rigid structures. This project presents evidence from 2D/3D manufacturing, chemical, mechanical, and biological characterization, which supports the hypothesis of its utility to aid in the fight to counteract the coral bleaching that affects all the marine ecosystem, primarily when this is supported by solid research in biomaterials science used for living systems, it can extend tissue engineering into new approaches in different domains such as environmental or marine sciences.
"KAUST shall be a beacon for peace, hope and reconciliation, and shall serve the people of the Kingdom and the world."
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, 1924 – 2015
Thuwal 23955-6900, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Al-Haytham Building (Bldg. 2)