3D-Printable, Self-Supporting, Adhesive Biomaterial Inks

  • Biocompatible ink (bio-ink) for 3D printing and bioprinting
  • Readily extruded (printable), self-supporting and adhesive
  • Enables printable, stackable and self-supporting structures such as weave patterns and cylinders


The University of Central Florida invention is a biocompatible ink (bio-ink) for three-dimensional (3D) printing and 3D bioprinting. The technology provides preformed microstructures that enable engineered tissues and organs.

Current 3D printing technologies have critically expanded tissue engineering approaches, making it possible to replicate the complex structure and function of natural tissues and organs better. However, challenges remain. Still needed are 3D printing biomaterial bio-inks that are readily extruded (that is, printable), self-supporting and adhesive. The biomaterials also must provide tunable bioactivity and porosity to facilitate robust colonization by target cells (biocompatible). The UCF invention offers such capabilities.

Technical Details

The UCF invention consists of a Capgel biomaterial ink and methods for producing and using it. The technology comprises sheared slurries of alginate gels with preformed micro-capillary configurations for retaining and incorporating 3D printed/bioprinted structures. With one setup, sheared slurries coated with poly-L-lysine (PLL) form a polyelectrolyte complex “skin” on the outer surfaces of gel blocks before extrusion, increasing self-adherence between microgel particles in the slurries. Thus, the Capgel bio-ink enables the printing of stackable structures such as weave patterns and cylinders. An example application for the poly-L-lysine-coated Capgel particles is to use them as microspheres and microcapsules that contain and deliver drugs and cells. Clinicians and researchers can also use them as injectable biomaterial tissue scaffolds.

Partnering Opportunity

The research team is seeking partners for licensing, research collaboration, or both.

Stage of Development

Prototype available.


  • Capillary diameter and density can be tailored for a given application
  • Enables continuous, self-adherent extrusions that remain intact in solution
  • Supports 3D printing/bioprinting of anatomic structures in the range of 10-300μm

Potential Applications

  • Biomaterials/tissue scaffold products for laboratory use
  • 3D printing/bioprinting for tissue engineering applications

Contact Information

Name: Andrea Adkins

Email: Andrea.Adkins@ucf.edu

Phone: 407.823.0138