Tough, Resorbable Polycaprolactone‐Based Bimodal Networks for Vat Polymerization 3D Printing

Kerr D. G. Samson, Veronica Hidalgo-Alvarez, Tim R. Dargaville, Ferry P. W. Melchels*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
99 Downloads (Pure)


Vat polymerization allows for the accurate and fast fabrication of personalized implants and devices. While the technology advances rapidly and more materials become available, the fabrication of flexible yet tough resorbable materials for biomedical applications remains a challenge. Here, a formulation that can be 3D printed with high accuracy using vat polymerization, yielding materials that are tough, degradable, and non‐toxic is presented. This unique combination of properties is obtained by combining a long‐chain polycaprolactone macromonomer with a small molecule cross‐linker. A wide range of properties is achieved by tuning the ratio of these components. The use of benzyl alcohol as a non‐volatile, benign solvent enables fabrication on a low‐cost desktop 3D printer, with an exposure time of 8 s per 50‐micron layer. The 3D‐printed networks are tough and elastic with a tensile strength of 11 MPa at 116% elongation at break. Cells attach and proliferate on the networks with a viability of >91%. The networks are fully degradable to soluble products. This new 3D printable material opens up a range of opportunities in biomedical engineering and personalized medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2213797
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number25
Early online date27 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2023


  • Research Article
  • Research Articles
  • additive manufacturing
  • bimodal networks
  • polycaprolactone
  • resins
  • stereolithography


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