The goal of this study was to design, fabricate, and characterize hydrogel lattice structures with consistent, controllable, anisotropic mechanical properties. Lattices, based on three unit-cell types (cubic, diamond, and vintile), were printed using stereolithography (SLA) of polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA). To create structural anisotropy in the lattices, unit cell design files were scaled by a factor of two in one direction in each layer and then printed. The mechanical properties of the scaled lattices were measured in shear and compression and compared to those of the unscaled lattices. Two apparent shear moduli of each lattice were measured by dynamic shear tests in two planes: (1) parallel and (2) perpendicular to the scaling direction, or cell symmetry axis. Three apparent Young's moduli of each lattice were measured by compression in three different directions: (1) the “build” direction or direction of added layers, (2) the scaling direction, and (3) the unscaled direction perpendicular to both scaling and build directions. For shear deformation in unscaled lattices, the apparent shear moduli were similar in the two perpendicular directions. In contrast, scaled lattices exhibit clear differences in apparent shear moduli. In compression of unscaled lattices, apparent Young's moduli were independent of direction in cubic and vintile lattices; in diamond lattices Young's moduli differed in the build direction, but were similar in the other two directions. Scaled lattices in compression exhibited additional differences in apparent Young's moduli in the scaled and unscaled directions. Notably, the effects of scaling on apparent modulus differed between each lattice type (cubic, diamond, or vintile) and deformation mode (shear or compression). Scaling of 3D-printed, hydrogel lattices may be harnessed to create tunable, structures of desired shape, stiffness, and mechanical anisotropy, in both shear and compression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105652
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • 3D printing
  • Anisotropy
  • Lattice structure
  • Mechanical testing


Dive into the research topics of 'Design and characterization of 3-D printed hydrogel lattices with anisotropic mechanical properties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this