Additive manufacturing of wet-spun polymeric scaffolds for bone tissue engineering
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An Additive Manufacturing technique for the fabrication of three-dimensional polymeric scaffolds, based on wet-spinning of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) or PCL/hydroxyapatite (HA) solutions, was developed. The processing conditions to fabricate scaffolds with a layer-by-layer approach were optimized by studying their influence on fibres morphology and alignment. Two different scaffold architectures were designed and fabricated by tuning inter-fibre distance and fibres staggering. The developed scaffolds showed good reproducibility of the internal architecture characterized by highly porous, aligned fibres with an average diameter in the range 200–250 μm. Mechanical characterization showed that the architecture and HA loading influenced the scaffold compressive modulus and strength. Cell culture experiments employing MC3T3-E1 preosteoblast cell line showed good cell adhesion, proliferation, alkaline phosphatase activity and bone mineralization on the developed scaffolds.
KeywordsTissue engineering Scaffolds Wet-spinning Additive manufacturing Polycaprolactone
This work was done within the framework of the European Network of Excellence “EXPERTISSUES” (Project NMP3-CT-2004-500283). Mr. Piero Narducci of University of Pisa, Italy, is acknowledged for recording SEM images.
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