Mechanical Stimulation in a PCL Additive Manufacturing Scaffold

  • Marzia Brunelli
  • Cécile Perrault
  • Damien LacroixEmail author
Part of the Frontiers of Biomechanics book series (FB, volume 3)


Three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds are increasingly employed as support for studies on cellular activities. They are widely shown to enhance cell survival and are a promising approach to be employed to mimic the in vivo conditions due to their controlled architecture. Moreover, 3D stiff structures fabricated by additive manufacturing are able to bear mechanical stimuli finding a role in the investigation of the effect of mechanical forces on cell proliferation and commitment. With this purpose, we propose a combination of a 3D polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffold and collagen soft gel as support for studying the response of mesenchymal stem cells following mechanical compression. This chapter focuses on the characterization of 3D Insert® PCL scaffolds behaviour under mechanical compression. After defining mechanical properties and variability due to boundary effects, the focus moves on the development of a new composite scaffold made of a stiff PCL structure acting as support for cell activities and able to bear mechanical compression while embedding a soft collagen gel matrix responsible to provide an environment enhancing cellular activities as well as to transmit the stress resulting from the mechanical stimulation from the stiff matrix to the seeded cells. Finally, the last section focuses on the effect of low mechanical strain applied on seeded scaffolds and how the cellular response varies to bursts of compression applied at different time points.


3D Insert® PCL Mechanical compression Boundary effects MSCs proliferation 


  1. Barbarisi M et al (2014) Use of polycaprolactone (PCL) as scaffolds for the regeneration of nerve tissue. Soc Biomater 103(5):1755–1760CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chen W, Zhang B, Forrestal MJ (1999) A split Hopkinson bar technique for low-impedance materials. Exp Mech 39(2):81–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen G, Ushida T, Tateishi T (2002) Scaffold design for tissue engineering. Macromol Biosci 2(2):67–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Declercq HA, Desmet T, Berneel EEM, Dubruel P, Cornelissen MJ (2013) Synergistic effect of surface modification and scaffold design of bioplotted 3-D poly-Ε-caprolactone scaffolds in osteogenic tissue engineering. Acta Biomater 9(8):7699–7708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Engler AJ, Sen S, Lee Sweeney H, Discher DE (2006) Matrix elasticity directs stem cell lineage specification. Cell 126(4):677–689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gama BA, Lopatnikov SL, Gillespie JW (2004) Hopkinson bar experimental technique: a critical review. Appl Mech Rev 57(4):223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ghosh S et al (2008) Dynamic mechanical behavior of starch-based scaffolds in dry and physiologically simulated conditions: effect of porosity and pore size. Acta Biomater 4(4):950–959CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hutmacher DW (2000) Scaffolds in tissue engineering bone and cartilage. Biomaterials 21:2529–2543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hutmacher DW et al (2001) Mechanical properties and cell cultural response of polycaprolactone scaffolds designed and fabricated via fused deposition modeling. J Biomed Mater Res 55(2):203–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Karageorgiou V, Kaplan D (2005) Porosity of 3D biomaterial scaffolds and osteogenesis. Biomaterials 26(27):5474–5491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lacroix D, Prendergast PJ (2002) A mechano-regulation model for tissue differentiation during fracture healing: analysis of gap size and loading. J Biomech 35(9):1163–1171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lohmann CH, Schwartz Z, Niederauer GG (2000) Pretreatment with platelet derived growth factor-BB modulates the ability of costochondral resting zone chondrocytes incorporated into PLA/PGA scaffolds to form new. Biomaterials 21:49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Marino G et al (2012) Growth and endothelial differentiation of adipose stem cells on polycaprolactone. J Biomed Mat Res A 100A(3):543–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. O’Keefe RJ, Mao J (2011) Bone tissue engineering and regeneration: from discovery to the clinic: an overview. Tissue Eng Part B Rev 17(6):389–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Odusanya OS, Manan DMA, Ishiaku US, Azemi BMN (2003) Effect of starch predrying on the mechanical properties of starch/poly ( E -Caprolactone ) composites. J Appl Polym Sci 87:877–884CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Parenteau-Bareil R, Gauvin R, Berthod F (2010) Collagen-based biomaterials for tissue engineering applications. Materials 3:1863–1887CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Slivka, M. A., Leatherbury, N. C., Kieswetter, K., & Niederauer, G. G. (2000). In vitro compression testing of fiber-reinforced, bioabsorbable, porous implants. In Synthetic bioabsorbable polymers for implants. ASTM InternationalGoogle Scholar
  18. Sobral JM, Caridade SG, Sousa R a, Mano JF, Reis RL (2011) Three-dimensional plotted scaffolds with controlled pore size gradients: effect of scaffold geometry on mechanical performance and cell seeding efficiency. Acta Biomater 7(3):1009–1018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Yilgor P, Sousa RA, Reis RL, Hasirci N, Hasirci V (2008) 3D plotted PCL scaffolds for stem cell based bone tissue engineering. Macromol Symp 269(1):92–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marzia Brunelli
    • 1
  • Cécile Perrault
    • 1
  • Damien Lacroix
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.INSIGNEO Institute for in silico MedicineThe University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations