Fabrication using a rapid prototyping system and in vitro characterization of PEG-PCL-PLA scaffolds for tissue engineering
Hoque, Enamul, Hutmacher, Dietmar, Feng, Wei, Li, Suming, Huang, Ming-Hsi, Vert, Michel, & Wong, Y. S. (2005) Fabrication using a rapid prototyping system and in vitro characterization of PEG-PCL-PLA scaffolds for tissue engineering. Journal of Biomaterials Science. Polymer Edition, 16(12), pp. 1595-1610.
n the field of tissue engineering new polymers are needed to fabricate scaffolds with specific properties depending on the targeted tissue. This work aimed at designing and developing a 3D scaffold with variable mechanical strength, fully interconnected porous network, controllable hydrophilicity and degradability. For this, a desktop-robot-based melt-extrusion rapid prototyping technique was applied to a novel tri-block co-polymer, namely poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(epsi-caprolactone)-block-poly(DL-lactide), PEG-PCL-P(DL)LA. This co-polymer was melted by electrical heating and directly extruded out using computer-controlled rapid prototyping by means of compressed purified air to build porous scaffolds. Various lay-down patterns (0/30/60/90/120/150°, 0/45/90/135°, 0/60/120° and 0/90°) were produced by using appropriate positioning of the robotic control system. Scanning electron microscopy and micro-computed tomography were used to show that 3D scaffold architectures were honeycomb-like with completely interconnected and controlled channel characteristics. Compression tests were performed and the data obtained agreed well with the typical behavior of a porous material undergoing deformation. Preliminary cell response to the as-fabricated scaffolds has been studied with primary human fibroblasts. The results demonstrated the suitability of the process and the cell biocompatibility of the polymer, two important properties among the many required for effective clinical use and efficient tissue-engineering scaffolding.
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