PCL (Polycaprolactone)


Overview: PCL for Bioprinting

Polycaprolactone (PCL) is specifically developed and optimized for bioprinting of 3D structures. PCL is a thermoplastic polymer that offers enhanced control over mechanical properties of final 3D structures. PCL may be used on its own or printed with matrix bioinks such as gelatin methacrylate.

The recommended preparation provided in the user instruction below yields a streamlined printable biomaterial that creates  reproducible 3D printed constructs. However, preparation can be modified by users to suit their needs.

Figure 1: PCL can be printed on its own or in combination with a matrix bioink for additional support[1].

Figure 1: PCL can be printed on its own or in combination with a matrix bioink for additional support[1].



Storage and Handling

PCL should be stored at room temperature.

You Will Need

  • PCL Kit from Allevi with PCL, needles and stainless steel syringe

  • Petri dish or well plate for printing

Instructions for Use

*If printing with cell-laden matrix bioinks, all steps must be completed in a sterile environment. Be sure to sterilize PCL overnight prior to use with cells.

  1. Load PCL cylinder into syringe. If working with cells, complete all steps in sterile environement.

  2. Cap the metal syringe with a metal needle. A 30 gauge needle is suggested.

  3. Load syringe into the first extruder in the Allevi printer. Connect to your Allevi printer through your computer.

  4. Set the heat for the first extruder to suggested print temperature and allow time for PCL to melt.

Print Settings

*Critical step: Your needle can have significant effects on print settings. Be sure to use the suggested needle type or re-characteriz print parameters.
Speed (mm/s) Layer Height (mm) Nozzle Diam (mm) Gauge Pressure (psi) Print Temp (C)
1.0 0.1 0.1 30 Tapered 100 100

Try it out!

Try a practice print by following the instructions for Your First Bioprint using the print parameters and loading instructions for PCL.


  1. Print speed, nozzle diameter and pressure may all be adjusted to better fit a user’s needs. For help adjusting print parameters please contact [email protected]

  2. A fill volume change of more than 2 ml may affect pressure settings.

  3. A lower gauge size or tapered gauge will require lower pressure, while a higher gauge will require higher pressure for extrusion. Lowering the gauge size will also generally lower resolution

Further Information


  1. Kundu, Joydip et al. An Additive Manufacturing-Based PCL-Alginate-Chondrocyte Bioprinted Scaffold for Cartilage Tissue Engineering. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2013.