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Because the gel is self-healing, once the needle is removed, the bonds re-form and stabilize the structure. This mechanism enables the printing of channel-like structures, overhangs, spiral, spherical pockets of material.
Supramolecular hydrogels are versatile and can be combined with biological components such as cells to print high resolution, tissue-like structures, that could be used as models of healthy and diseased tissues for biological research, drug screening, and as therapeutic implants for damaged tissues. The combination of resolution, ability to address 3D space and flexibility in printed materials is currently unmatched by other 3D printing technologies.