Algal polysaccharides for 3D printing: A review
Algae hold particular promise as a feedstock for biomaterials, as they are capable of producing a wide variety of polymers with the properties required for 3D printing. However, the use of algal polymers has been limited to alginate, agar, carrageenan, and ulvan extracted from seaweeds. Diverse algal taxa beyond seaweeds have yet to be explored. In this comprehensive review, we discuss available algal biomaterials, their properties, and emerging applications in 3D printing techniques. We also identify elite algal strains to be used in 3D printing and comment on both advantages and limitations of algal biomass as a printing material. Global 3D printing market trends and material demands are also critically analyzed. Finally, the future prospects, opportunities, and challenges for using algal polymers in 3D printing market for a sustainable economy are discussed. We hope this review will provide a foundation for exploring the 3D printable biomaterials from algae.