When to Use Hyaluronic Acid-based Bioinks


In recent years, the field of bioprinting has witnessed remarkable advancements, bringing forth a new era of possibilities in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. One of the key players in this innovative landscape is hyaluronic acid-based bioinks. Hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the human body, is gaining prominence as a crucial component in bioink formulations due to its unique properties. In this article, we explore the factors that dictate when and why hyaluronic acid-based bioinks should be employed in the realm of bioprinting.

Preparation of HA-based bioink (hydrogel).Figure 1. Preparation of HA-based bioink (hydrogel). (Antich C, et al.; 2020)

Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is a glycosaminoglycan that plays a vital role in various biological processes, including tissue hydration, lubrication, and cell signaling. It is a major component of the extracellular matrix (ECM), providing structural support to tissues and promoting cell migration and proliferation.

The Appeal of Hyaluronic Acid-Based Bioinks:

The decision to use hyaluronic acid-based bioinks hinges on several factors that make this material particularly attractive for bioprinting applications. First and foremost, hyaluronic acid is biocompatible, meaning it is well-tolerated by the body, reducing the risk of adverse reactions. This property is crucial when designing bioinks for use in medical applications, especially when dealing with the printing of tissues or organs intended for transplantation.

Moreover, hyaluronic acid possesses excellent viscoelastic properties, making it an ideal candidate for bioink formulations. Its ability to maintain a balance between viscosity and elasticity is crucial during the printing process, ensuring the structural integrity of the printed constructs. This characteristic is particularly advantageous when creating complex tissue structures with intricate geometries.

When to Opt for Hyaluronic Acid-Based Bioinks:

Soft Tissue Engineering:

Hyaluronic acid-based bioinks find their niche in the realm of soft tissue engineering. Applications such as skin, cartilage, and blood vessels benefit from the biomimetic properties of hyaluronic acid, promoting cell adhesion, migration, and tissue regeneration. The bioink's compatibility with various cell types makes it a versatile choice for creating biocompatible scaffolds that support tissue growth.

Drug Delivery Systems:

The unique physicochemical properties of hyaluronic acid make it an excellent candidate for drug delivery applications. Bioinks incorporating hyaluronic acid can be tailored to release therapeutic agents in a controlled manner. This controlled release mechanism is particularly beneficial for treating chronic conditions or facilitating the regeneration of damaged tissues over an extended period.

Ophthalmic Applications:

Hyaluronic acid's presence in the vitreous humor of the eye highlights its significance in ophthalmic applications. Bioinks utilizing hyaluronic acid can be employed for printing ocular tissues and structures. The biocompatibility and viscoelasticity of hyaluronic acid make it an ideal choice for mimicking the complex environment of the eye.

Wound Healing and Skin Repair:

The ability of hyaluronic acid to retain water and promote cell migration makes it well-suited for wound healing applications. Bioinks containing hyaluronic acid can be utilized to print scaffolds that facilitate tissue repair, aiding in the regeneration of skin and underlying tissues.


Hyaluronic acid-based bioinks have emerged as a promising avenue in the field of bioprinting, opening up new possibilities in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, and drug delivery. The biocompatibility, viscoelasticity, and unique properties of hyaluronic acid make it an excellent choice for specific applications, including soft tissue engineering, drug delivery systems, ophthalmic applications, and wound healing. As the field continues to evolve, the judicious selection of bioink materials, such as hyaluronic acid, will play a pivotal role in advancing the capabilities of bioprinting technology for the benefit of medical science and patient care.


  1. Antich C, et al.; Bio-inspired hydrogel composed of hyaluronic acid and alginate as a potential bioink for 3D bioprinting of articular cartilage engineering constructs. Acta Biomater. 2020, 106:114-123.
For research use only, not intended for any clinical use.