3D Bioplotter Research Papers

Displaying all papers about Cartilage Regeneration (89 results)

Development of a Nanohybrid Peptide Hydrogel for Enhanced Intervertebral Disc Repair and Regeneration

ACS Nano 2023 Volume 17, Issue 4, Pages 3750–3764

Effective therapeutic approaches to overcome the heterogeneous pro-inflammatory and inhibitory extracellular matrix (ECM) microenvironment are urgently needed to achieve robust structural and functional repair of severely wounded fibrocartilaginous tissues. Herein we developed a dynamic and multifunctional nanohybrid peptide hydrogel (NHPH) through hierarchical self-assembly of peptide amphiphile modified with biodegradable two-dimensional nanomaterials with enzyme-like functions. NHPH is not only injectable, biocompatible, and biodegradable but also therapeutic by catalyzing the scavenging of pro-inflammatory reactive oxygen species and promoting ECM remodeling. In addition, our NHPH method facilitated the structural and functional recovery of the intervertebral disc (IVD) after severe injuries by delivering pro-regenerative…

A modular hydrogel bioink containing microsphere-embedded chondrocytes for 3D-printed multiscale composite scaffolds for cartilage repair

iScience 2023 Volume 26, Issue 8, Article 107349,

Articular cartilage tissue engineering is being considered an alternative treatment strategy for promoting cartilage damage repair. Herein, we proposed a modular hydrogel-based bioink containing microsphere-embedded chondrocytes for 3D printing multiscale scaffolds integrating the micro and macro environment of the native articular cartilage. Gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA)/alginate microsphere was prepared by a microfluidic approach, and the chondrocytes embedded in the microspheres remained viable after being frozen and resuscitated. The modular hydrogel bioink could be printed via the gel-in-gel 3D bioprinting strategy for fabricating the multiscale hydrogel-based scaffolds. Meanwhile, the cells cultured in the scaffolds showed good proliferation and differentiation. Furthermore, we also found that…

Meniscal fibrocartilage regeneration inspired by meniscal maturational and regenerative process

Science Advances 2023 Volume 9, Issue 45, Article eadg8138

Meniscus is a complex and crucial fibrocartilaginous tissue within the knee joint. Meniscal regeneration remains to be a scientific and translational challenge. We clarified that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) participated in meniscal maturation and regeneration using MSC-tracing transgenic mice model. Here, inspired by meniscal natural maturational and regenerative process, we developed an effective and translational strategy to facilitate meniscal regeneration by three-dimensionally printing biomimetic meniscal scaffold combining autologous synovium transplant, which contained abundant intrinsic MSCs. We verified that this facilitated anisotropic meniscus–like tissue regeneration and protected cartilage from degeneration in large animal model. Mechanistically, the biomechanics and matrix stiffness up-regulated…

Engineered biomechanical microenvironment of articular chondrocytes based on heterogeneous GelMA hydrogel composites and dynamic mechanical compression

Biomaterials Advances 2023 Volume 153, Article 213567

Tissue-engineered articular cartilage constructs are currently not able to equal native tissues in terms of mechanical and biological properties. A major cause lies in the deficiency in engineering the biomechanical microenvironment (BMME) of articular chondrocytes. In this work, to engineer the BMME of articular chondrocytes, heterogeneous hydrogel structures of gelatin methacrylated (GelMA) containing differential-stiffness domains were first fabricated, and then periodic dynamic mechanical stimulations were applied to the hydrogel structures. The chondrocyte phenotype of ATDC5 cells was enhanced as the spatial differentiation in stiffness was increased in the hydrogel structures and was further strengthened by dynamic mechanical stimulation. It was…

Reinforcement of Hydrogels with a 3D-Printed Polycaprolactone (PCL) Structure Enhances Cell Numbers and Cartilage ECM Production under Compression

Journal of Functional Biomaterials 2023 Volume 14, Issue 6, Article 313

Hydrogels show promise in cartilage tissue engineering (CTE) by supporting chondrocytes and maintaining their phenotype and extracellular matrix (ECM) production. Under prolonged mechanical forces, however, hydrogels can be structurally unstable, leading to cell and ECM loss. Furthermore, long periods of mechanical loading might alter the production of cartilage ECM molecules, including glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and collagen type 2 (Col2), specifically with the negative effect of stimulating fibrocartilage, typified by collagen type 1 (Col1) secretion. Reinforcing hydrogels with 3D-printed Polycaprolactone (PCL) structures offer a solution to enhance the structural integrity and mechanical response of impregnated chondrocytes. This study aimed to assess the…

BC enhanced photocurable hydrogel based on 3D bioprinting for nasal cartilage repair

International Journal of Polymeric Materials and Polymeric Biomaterials 2023 Volume 72, Issue 9, Pages 702-713

The repair of nasal cartilage lesions and defects is still a difficult problem in nasal surgery, and nasal cartilage tissue engineering will be an effective way to solve this problem. Hydrogel has excellent application potential in tissue engineering. In order to produce a 3D printable scaffold for cartilage regeneration, we prepared gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA)/hyaluronic acid methacryloyl (HAMA)/bacterial cellulose (BC) composite hydrogel. The composite hydrogel was characterized by swelling, mechanical properties, and printing performance test. Compared with GelMA/HAMA hydrogel, the addition of BC not only significantly enhanced the mechanical properties of the hydrogels, but also improved the printing fidelity. At the…

3D bioactive ionic liquid-based architectures: An anti-inflammatory approach for early-stage osteoarthritis

Acta Biomaterialia 2023

3D bioprinting enables the fabrication of biomimetic cell-laden constructs for cartilage regeneration, offering exclusive strategies for precise pharmacological screenings in osteoarthritis (OA). Synovial inflammation plays a crucial role in OA’s early stage and progression, characterized by the increased of the synovial pro-inflammatory mediators and cytokines and chondrocyte apoptosis. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop solutions for effectively managing the primary events associated with OA. To address these issues, a phenolic-based biocompatible ionic liquid approach, combining alginate (ALG), acemannan (ACE), and cholinium caffeate (Ch[Caffeate]), was used to produce easily printable bioinks. Through the use of this strategy 3D constructs…

Chondrocyte spheroid-laden microporous hydrogel-based 3D bioprinting for cartilage regeneration

International Journal of Bioprinting 2023 Article 0161

Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting has brought new promising strategies for the regeneration of cartilage with specific shapes. In cartilage bioprinting, chondrocyte-laden hydrogels are the most commonly used bioinks. However, the dispersion of cells and the dense texture of the hydrogel in the conventional bioink may limit cell–cell/ cell–extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions, counting against cartilage regeneration and maturation. To address this issue, in this study, we developed a functional bioink for cartilage bioprinting based on chondrocyte spheroids (CSs) and microporous hydrogels, in which CSs as multicellular aggregates can provide extensive cell– cell/cell–ECM interactions to mimic the natural cartilage microenvironment, and microporous hydrogels…

Regional specific tunable meniscus decellularized extracellular matrix (MdECM) reinforced bioink promotes anistropic meniscus regeneration

Chemical Engineering Journal 2023 Volume 473, Article 145209

The healing of meniscus injuries poses a significant challenge, as prolonged failure to heal can lead to osteoarthritis, which presents a therapeutic dilemma in the field of sports medicine. Decellularized extracellular matrix (MdECM) derived from natural meniscus, and the incorporated growth factors have been used for potential fibrochondrocyte induction and meniscus regeneration. However, homogeneous MdECM is difficult to achieve region-specific biomimetic microenvironment for tissue regeneration. In this study, we successfully prepared a region-specific MdECM, which were then mixed with an ultraviolet responsible Gelatin Methacryloyl (GelMA)/hyaluronic acid Methacryloy (HAMA) hydrogel incorporated with bioactive factors, faciliatated a functional region-specific bioink. The 3D…

Enhanced osteochondral repair with hyaline cartilage formation using an extracellular matrix-inspired natural scaffold

Science Bulletin 2023 Volume 68, Issue 17, Pages 1904-1917

Osteochondral defects pose a great challenge and a satisfactory strategy for their repair has yet to be identified. In particular, poor repair could result in the generation of fibrous cartilage and subchondral bone, causing the degeneration of osteochondral tissue and eventually leading to repair failure. Herein, taking inspiration from the chemical elements inherent in the natural extracellular matrix (ECM), we proposed a novel ECM-mimicking scaffold composed of natural polysaccharides and polypeptides for osteochondral repair. By meticulously modifying natural biopolymers to form reversible guest–host and rigid covalent networks, the scaffold not only exhibited outstanding biocompatibility, cell adaptability, and biodegradability, but also…

Bacterial nanocellulose-reinforced gelatin methacryloyl hydrogel enhances biomechanical property and glycosaminoglycan content of 3D-bioprinted cartilage

International Journal of Bioprinting 2023 Volume 9, Issue 1, Article 631

Tissue-engineered ear cartilage scaffold based on three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting technology presents a new strategy for ear reconstruction in individuals with microtia. Natural hydrogel is a promising material due to its excellent biocompatibility and low immunogenicity. However, insufficient mechanical property required for cartilage is one of the major issues pending to be solved. In this study, the gelatin methacryloyl (GelMA) hydrogel reinforced with bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) was developed to enhance the biomechanical properties and printability of the hydrogel. The results revealed that the addition of 0.375% BNC significantly increased the mechanical properties of the hydrogel and promoted cell migration in the…

The Effect of Collagen-I Coatings of 3D Printed PCL Scaffolds for Bone Replacement on Three Different Cell Types

Applied Sciences 2021 Volume 11, Issue 22, Article 11063

Introduction The use of scaffolds in tissue engineering is becoming increasingly important as solutions need to be found to preserve human tissues such as bone or cartilage. Various factors, including cells, biomaterials, cell and tissue culture conditions, play a crucial role in tissue engineering. The in vivo environment of the cells exerts complex stimuli on the cells, thereby directly influencing cell behavior, including proliferation and differentiation. Therefore, to create suitable replacement or regeneration procedures for human tissues, the conditions of the cells’ natural environment should be well mimicked. Therefore, current research is trying to develop 3-dimensional scaffolds (scaffolds) that can…

Quantum dots-labeled polymeric scaffolds for in vivo tracking of degradation and tissue formation

Bioactive Materials 2022 Volume 16, Pages 285-292

The inevitable gap between in vitro and in vivo degradation rate of biomaterials has been a challenging factor in the optimal designing of scaffold’s degradation to be balanced with new tissue formation. To enable non-/minimum-invasive tracking of in vivo scaffold degradation, chemical modifications have been applied to label polymers with fluorescent dyes. However, the previous approaches may have limited expandability due to complicated synthesis processes. Here, we introduce a simple and efficient method to fluorescence labeling of polymeric scaffolds via blending with near-infrared (NIR) quantum dots (QDs), semiconductor nanocrystals with superior optical properties. QDs-labeled, 3D-printed PCL scaffolds showed promising efficiency…

Loose Pre-Cross-Linking Mediating Cellulose Self-Assembly for 3D Printing Strong and Tough Biomimetic Scaffolds

Biomacromolecules 2022 Volume 23, Issue 3, Pages 877-888

The lack of an effective printable ink preparation method and the usual mechanically weak performance obstruct the functional 3D printing hydrogel exploitation and application. Herein, we propose a gentle pre-cross-linking strategy to enable a loosely cross-linked cellulose network for simultaneously achieving favorable printability and a strong hydrogel network via mediating the cellulose self-assembly. A small amount of epichlorohydrin is applied to (i) slightly pre-cross-link the cellulose chains for forming the percolating network to regulate the rheological properties and (ii) form the loosely cross-linked points to mediate the cellulose chains’ self-assembly for achieving superior mechanical properties. The fabrication of the complex…

3D-printed regenerative polycaprolactone/silk fibroin osteogenic and chondrogenic implant for treatment of hip dysplasia

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2022 Volume 636, Part 1, Pages 96-104

Hip dysplasia is a developmental disorder that resulted in insufficient acetabular coverage. Current surgical treatments are technically demanding, complex, invasive, and often lead to associated complications. Therefore, the development of regenerative implants that fit to the bone and induce osteogenesis and chondrogenesis is in high demand. In this study, an implant was developed in which the osteogenic part was 3D printed using polycaprolactone (PCL), crosslinked with dopamine, and subjected to surface mineralization; while the chondrogenic part was prepared using silk fibroin (SF) and bone morphogenetic protein 2. Physical and chemical characterization of the implant was conducted using energy dispersive spectrometry…

Computational investigation of interface printing patterns within 3D printed multilayered scaffolds for osteochondral tissue engineering

Biofabrication 2022 Volume 14, Number 2, Article 025015

Osteoarthritis is a highly prevalent rheumatic musculoskeletal disorder that commonly affects many joints. Repetitive joint overloading perpetuates the damage to the affected cartilage, which undermines the structural integrity of the osteochondral unit. Various tissue engineering strategies have been employed to design multiphasic osteochondral scaffolds that recapitulate layer-specific biomechanical properties, but the inability to fully satisfy mechanical demands within the joint has limited their success. Through computational modeling and extrusion-based bioprinting, we attempted to fabricate a biphasic osteochondral scaffold with improved shear properties and a mechanically strong interface. A 3D stationary solid mechanics model was developed to simulate the effect of…

Fabrication of chitosan/alginate/hydroxyapatite hybrid scaffolds using 3D printing and impregnating techniques for potential cartilage regeneration

International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 2022 Volume 204, Pages 62-75

Three-dimensional (3D) printed hydrogel scaffolds enhanced with ceramics have shown potential applications for cartilage regeneration, but leaving biological and mechanical properties to be desired. This paper presents our study on the development of chitosan /alginate scaffolds with nano hydroxyapatite (nHA) by combining 3D printing and impregnating techniques, forming a hybrid, yet novel, structure of scaffolds for potential cartilage regeneration. First, we incorporated nHA into chitosan scaffold printing and studied the printability by examining the difference between the printed scaffolds and their designs. Then, we impregnated alginate with nHA into the printed chitosan scaffolds to forming a hybrid structure of scaffolds;…

Polymer Materials And Their Usage In Veterinary Practice

Acta Tecnología 2022 Volume: 8, Issue: 4, Pages 109-115

In the field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, the use of such materials has been included for a short time, serving not only as a replacement for damaged or missing tissue, but also as a support for the surrounding tissues and cells. Such materials should not only be passively tolerated by the cell, but should also actively promote the growth, differentiation and other processes involved in tissue regeneration. The latest approach is the use and development of bioresorbable and biodegradable polymeric materials. Such materials, with their biocompatibility, degradability and suitable mechanical properties, support the overgrowth of new tissue. The…

Freeze-printing of pectin/alginate scaffolds with high resolution, overhang structures and interconnected porous network

Additive Manufacturing 2021 Volume 46, Article 102120

We report herein the fabrication of a pectin-based scaffold (6 wt% pectin, 3 wt% alginate) with high resolution (small-diameter rods), small pores, and interconnected porosity using a low temperature 3D printing process known as freeze-printing. The ability to successfully print natural polymers has been a long-standing challenge in the field of additive manufacturing of polymeric tissue scaffolds. This is due to the slow evaporation rate of the aqueous solvent, which leads to unstable structures. This problem has been addressed by utilizing the fast solidification rate of the freeze-printing process. Scaffolds with a hgresolution (rod-diameter of 83 ± 14 µm), small…

Dynamic hyaluronic acid hydrogel with covalent linked gelatin as an anti-oxidative bioink for cartilage tissue engineering

Biofabrication 2021 Volume 14, Number 1, Article 014107

In the past decade, cartilage tissue engineering has arisen as a promising therapeutic option for degenerative joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis, in the hope of restoring the structure and physiological functions. Hydrogels are promising biomaterials for developing engineered scaffolds for cartilage regeneration. However, hydrogel-delivered mesenchymal stem cells or chondrocytes could be exposed to elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the inflammatory microenvironment after being implanted into injured joints, which may affect their phenotype and normal functions and thereby hinder the regeneration efficacy. To attenuate ROS induced side effects, a multifunctional hydrogel with an innate anti-oxidative ability was produced…

Bioprinting of Chondrocyte Stem Cell Co-Cultures for Auricular Cartilage Regeneration

ACS Omega 2022 Volume 7, Issue 7, Pages 5908–5920

Advances in 3D bioprinting allows not only controlled deposition of cells or cell-laden hydrogels but also flexibility in creating constructs that match the anatomical features of the patient. This is especially the case for reconstructing the pinna (ear), which is a large feature of the face and made from elastic cartilage that primarily relies on diffusion for nutrient transfer. The selection of cell lines for reconstructing this cartilage becomes a crucial step in clinical translation. Chondrocytes and mesenchymal stem cells are both studied extensively in the area of cartilage regeneration as they are capable of producing cartilage in vitro. However,…

The evaluation of a multiphasic 3D-bioplotted scaffold seeded with adipose derived stem cells to repair osteochondral defects in a porcine model

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part B Applied Biomaterials 2021 Volume 109, Issue 12, Pages 2246-2258

There is a need for the development of effective treatments for focal articular cartilage injuries. We previously developed a multiphasic 3D-bioplotted osteochondral scaffold design that can drive site-specific tissue formation when seeded with adipose-derived stem cells (ASC). The objective of this study was to evaluate this scaffold in a large animal model. Osteochondral defects were generated in the trochlear groove of Yucatan minipigs and repaired with scaffolds that either contained or lacked an electrospun tidemark and were either unseeded or seeded with ASC. Implants were monitored via computed tomography (CT) over the course of 4 months of in vivo implantation and…

3D printed gelatin-genipin scaffolds for temporomandibular joint cartilage regeneration

Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express 2021 Volume 7, Number 5, Article 055025

Gelatin has emerged as a biocompatible polymer with high printability in scaffold-based tissue engineering. The aim of the current study was to investigate the potential of genipin-crosslinked 3D printed gelatin scaffolds for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) cartilage regeneration. Crosslinking with genipin increased the stability and mechanical properties, without any cytotoxic effects. Chondrogenic differentiation of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSC) on the scaffolds were compared to cell pellets and spheres. Although hBMSC seeded scaffolds showed a lower expression of chondrogenesis-related genes compared to cell pellets and spheres, they demonstrated a significantly reduced expression of collagen (COL) 10, suggesting a decreased…

Biological resurfacing in a canine model of hip osteoarthritis

Science Advances 2021 Volume 7, Issue 38, Article eabi5918

Articular cartilage has unique load-bearing properties but has minimal capacity for intrinsic repair. Here, we used three-dimensional weaving, additive manufacturing, and autologous mesenchymal stem cells to create a tissue-engineered, bicomponent implant to restore hip function in a canine hip osteoarthritis model. This resorbable implant was specifically designed to function mechanically from the time of repair and to biologically integrate with native tissues for long-term restoration. A massive osteochondral lesion was created in the hip of skeletally mature hounds and repaired with the implant or left empty (control). Longitudinal outcome measures over 6 months demonstrated that the implant dogs returned to…

3D printing of an integrated triphasic MBG-alginate scaffold with enhanced interface bonding for hard tissue applications

Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine 2020 Volume 31, Article 113

Osteochondral defects affect both of cartilage and subchondral areas, thus it poses a significant challenge to simultaneously regenerate two parts in orthopedics. Tissue engineering strategy is currently regarded as the most promising way to repair osteochondral defects. This study focuses on developing a multilayered scaffold with enhanced interface bonding through 3D printing. One-shot printing process enables control over material composition, pore structure, and size in each region of the scaffold, while realizes seamlessly integrated construct as well. The scaffold was designed to be triphasic: a porous bone layer composed of alginate sodium (SA) and mesoporous bioactive glasses (MBG), an intermediate…

Hybrid Printing Using Cellulose Nanocrystals Reinforced GelMA/HAMA Hydrogels for Improved Structural Integration

Advanced Healthcare Materials 2020 Volume 9, Issue 24, Article 2001410

3D printing of soft-tissue like cytocompatible single material constructs with appropriate mechanical properties remains a challenge. Hybrid printing technology provides an attractive alternative as it combines a cell-free ink for providing mechanical support with a bioink for housing embedded cells. Several hybrid printed structures have been developed, utilizing thermoplastic polymers such as polycaprolactone as structural support. These thermoplastics demonstrated limited structural integration with the cell-laden components, and this may compromise the overall performance. In this work, a hybrid printing platform is presented using two distinct hydrogel inks that share the same photo-crosslinking chemistry to enable simple fabrication and seamless structural…

Three-dimensional printing of click functionalized, peptide patterned scaffolds for osteochondral tissue engineering

Bioprinting 2021 Volume 22, Article e00136

Osteochondral repair remains a significant clinical challenge due to the multiple tissue phenotypes and complex biochemical milieu in the osteochondral unit. To repair osteochondral defects, it is necessary to mimic the gradation between bone and cartilage, which requires spatial patterning of multiple tissue-specific cues. To address this need, we have developed a facile system for the conjugation and patterning of tissue-specific peptides by melt extrusion of peptide-functionalized poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL). In this study, alkyne-terminated PCL was conjugated to tissue-specific peptides via a mild, aqueous, and Ru(II)-catalyzed click reaction. The PCL-peptide composites were then 3D printed by multimaterial segmented printing to generate…

Experimental investigation of esophageal reconstruction with electrospun polyurethane nanofiber and 3D printing polycaprolactone scaffolds using a rat model

Head & Neck 2021 Volume 43, Issue 3, Pages 833-848

Background We evaluated the outcome of esophageal reconstructions using tissue-engineered scaffolds. Method Partial esophageal defects were reconstructed with the following scaffolds; animals were grouped (n = 7 per group) as follows: (a) normal rats; (b) rats implanted with three-dimensional printing (3DP) polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds; (c) with human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell (ADSC)-seeded 3DP PCL scaffolds; (d) with polyurethane (PU)-nanofiber(Nf) scaffolds; and (e) with ADSC-seeded PU-Nf scaffolds. Results The esophageal defects were successfully repaired; however, muscle regeneration was greater in the 3DP PCL + ADSC groups than in the PU-Nf + ADSC groups (P 

Dual-crosslinked 3D printed gelatin scaffolds with potential for temporomandibular joint cartilage regeneration

Biomedical Materials 2021 Volume 16, Number 3, Article 035026

A promising alternative to current treatment options for degenerative conditions of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is cartilage tissue engineering, using 3D printed scaffolds and mesenchymal stem cells. Gelatin, with its inherent biocompatibility and printability has been proposed as a scaffold biomaterial, but because of its thermoreversible properties, rapid degradation and inadequate strength it must be crosslinked to be stable in physiological conditions. The aim of this study was to identify non-toxic and effective crosslinking methods intended to improve the physical properties of 3D printed gelatin scaffolds for cartilage regeneration. Dehydrothermal (DHT), ribose glycation and dual crosslinking with both DHT and…

3D printed silk-gelatin hydrogel scaffold with different porous structure and cell seeding strategy for cartilage regeneration

Bioactive Materials 2021 Volume 6, Issue 10, Pages 3396-3410

Hydrogel scaffolds are attractive for tissue defect repair and reorganization because of their human tissue-like characteristics. However, most hydrogels offer limited cell growth and tissue formation ability due to their submicron- or nano-sized gel networks, which restrict the supply of oxygen, nutrients and inhibit the proliferation and differentiation of encapsulated cells. In recent years, 3D printed hydrogels have shown great potential to overcome this problem by introducing macro-pores within scaffolds. In this study, we fabricated a macroporous hydrogel scaffold through horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-mediated crosslinking of silk fibroin (SF) and tyramine-substituted gelatin (GT) by extrusion-based low-temperature 3D printing. Through physicochemical characterization,…

Fabrication and characterization of mechanically competent 3D printed polycaprolactone-reduced graphene oxide scaffolds

Scientific Reports 2020 Volume 10, Article number 22210

The ability to produce constructs with a high control over the bulk geometry and internal architecture has situated 3D printing as an attractive fabrication technique for scaffolds. Various designs and inks are actively investigated to prepare scaffolds for different tissues. In this work, we prepared 3D printed composite scaffolds comprising polycaprolactone (PCL) and various amounts of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) at 0.5, 1, and 3 wt.%. We employed a two-step fabrication process to ensure an even mixture and distribution of the rGO sheets within the PCL matrix. The inks were prepared by creating composite PCL-rGO films through solvent evaporation casting…

A tri-component knee plug for the 3rd generation of autologous chondrocyte implantation

Scientific Reports 2020 Volume 10, Article number: 17048

Here, we report a newly designed knee plug to be used in the 3rd generation of Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (ACI) in order to heal the damaged knee cartilage. It is composed of three components: The first component (Bone Portion) is a 3D printed hard scaffold with large pores (~ 850 µm), made by hydroxyapatite and β-tricalcium phosphate to accommodate the bony parts underneath the knee cartilage. It is a cylinder with a diameter of 20 mm and height of 7.5 mm, with a slight dome shape on top. The plug also comprises a Cartilage Portion (component 2) which is a 3D…

Biomechanically, structurally and functionally meticulously tailored polycaprolactone/silk fibroin scaffold for meniscus regeneration

Theranostics 2020 Volume 10, Issue 11, Pages 5090-5106

Meniscus deficiency, the most common and refractory disease in human knee joints, often progresses to osteoarthritis (OA) due to abnormal biomechanical distribution and articular cartilage abrasion. However, due to its anisotropic spatial architecture, complex biomechanical microenvironment, and limited vascularity, meniscus repair remains a challenge for clinicians and researchers worldwide. In this study, we developed a 3D printing-based biomimetic and composite tissue-engineered meniscus scaffold consisting of polycaprolactone (PCL)/silk fibroin (SF) with extraordinary biomechanical properties and biocompatibility. We hypothesized that the meticulously tailored composite scaffold could enhance meniscus regeneration and cartilage protection. Methods: The physical property of the scaffold was characterized by…

3D hybrid printing platform for auricular cartilage reconstruction

Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express 2020 Volume 6, Number 3, Article 035003

As scaffolds approach dimensions that are of clinical relevance, mechanical integrity and distribution becomes an important factor to the overall success of the implant. Hydrogels often lack the structural integrity and mechanical properties for use in vivo or handling. The inclusion of a structural support during the printing process, referred to as hybrid printing, allows the implant to retain structure and protect cells during maturation without needing to compromise its biological performance. In this study, scaffolds for the purpose of auricular cartilage reconstruction were evaluated via a hybrid printing approach using methacrylated Gelatin (GelMA) and Hyaluronic acid (HAMA) as the…

Entrapped in cage (EiC) scaffolds of 3D-printed polycaprolactone and porous silk fibroin for meniscus tissue engineering

Biofabrication 2020 Volume 12, Number 2, Article 025028

The meniscus has critical functions in the knee joint kinematics and homeostasis. Injuries of the meniscus are frequent, and the lack of a functional meniscus between the femur and tibial plateau can cause articular cartilage degeneration leading to osteoarthritis development and progression. Regeneration of meniscus tissue has outstanding challenges to be addressed. In the current study, novel Entrapped in cage (EiC) scaffolds of 3D-printed polycaprolactone (PCL) and porous silk fibroin were proposed for meniscus tissue engineering. As confirmed by micro-structural analysis the entrapment of silk fibroin was successful, and all scaffolds had excellent interconnectivity (≥99%). The EiC scaffolds had more…

Development of a Photocrosslinkable Methacrylated Methylcellulose and Gelatin bioink for Cartilage Tissue Regeneration

MACE PGR Conference 2020

Articular cartilage disease can cause pain, mobility issues, and disability. Clinical treatment includes microfracture, subchondral drilling, graft transplantation, and eventually total joint replacement implant. However, these approaches can present specific problems and limitations. Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinted scaffolds utilising hydrogels can provide a suitable 3D biochemical and biophysical environment, thus is a promising strategy for cartilage tissue therapy and regeneration. This study aims to develop a new hydrogel bioink with improved printability, mechanical, and biological properties for cartilage regeneration. A photocrosslinkable methacrylated methylcellulose (MCMA) and gelatin (GelMA) hybrid bioink is evaluated in this preliminary investigation. The results showed that methylcellulose and…

Chondroinductive Alginate-Based Hydrogels Having Graphene Oxide for 3D Printed Scaffold Fabrication

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2020 Volume 12, Issue 4, Pages 4343-4357

Scaffolds based on bioconjugated hydrogels are attractive for tissue engineering because they can partly mimic human tissue characteristics. For example, they can further increase their bioactivity with cells. However, most of the hydrogels present problems related to their processability, consequently limiting their use in 3D printing to produce tailor-made scaffolds. The goal of this work is to develop bioconjugated hydrogel nanocomposite inks for 3D printed scaffold fabrication through a micro-extrusion process having improved both biocompatibility and processability. The hydrogel is based on a photocrosslinkable alginate bioconjugated with both gelatin and chondroitin sulfate in order to mimic the cartilage extracellular matrix,…

Design of a new 3D‐printed joint plug

Asia‐Pacific Journal of Chemical Engineering 2019 Volume 14, Issue 6, Article e2360

This paper introduces a kit of parts as a novel three‐dimensional (3D)–printed joint plug, in which each of the parts function cooperatively to treat cartilage damage in joints of the human body (e.g., hips, wrists, elbow, knee, and ankle). Three required and one optional parts are involved in this plug. The first part is a 3D‐printed hard scaffold (bone portion) to accommodate bone cells, and the second is a 3D‐printed soft scaffold (cartilage portion) overlying the bone portion to accommodate chondrocytes. The third part of joint plug is a permeable membrane, termed film, to cover the entire plug to provide…

Suturable regenerated silk fibroin scaffold reinforced with 3D-printed polycaprolactone mesh: biomechanical performance and subcutaneous implantation

Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine 2019 Volume 30, Article 63

The menisci have crucial roles in the knee, chondroprotection being the primary. Meniscus repair or substitution is favored in the clinical management of the meniscus lesions with given indications. The outstanding challenges with the meniscal scaffolds include the required biomechanical behavior and features. Suturability is one of the prerequisites for both implantation and implant survival. Therefore, we proposed herein a novel highly interconnected suturable porous scaffolds from regenerated silk fibroin that is reinforced with 3D-printed polycaprolactone (PCL) mesh in the middle, on the transverse plane to enhance the suture-holding capacity. Results showed that the reinforcement of the silk fibroin scaffolds…

Bacterial cellulose nanofibers promote stress and fidelity of 3D-printed silk based hydrogel scaffold with hierarchical pores

Carbohydrate Polymers 2019 Volume 221, Pages 146-156

One of the latest trends in the regenerative medicine is the development of 3D-printing hydrogel scaffolds with biomimetic structures for tissue regeneration and organ reconstruction. However, it has been practically difficult to achieve a highly biomimetic hydrogel scaffolds with proper mechanical properties matching the natural tissue. Here, bacterial cellulose nanofibers (BCNFs) were applied to improve the structural resolution and enhance mechanical properties of silk fibroin (SF)/gelatin composite hydrogel scaffolds. The SF-based hydrogel scaffolds with hierarchical pores were fabricated via 3D-printing followed by lyophilization. Results showed that the tensile strength of printed sample increased significantly with the addition of BCNFs in…

Carbon Nanodots Doped Super-paramagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Multimodal Bioimaging and Osteochondral Tissue Regeneration via External Magnetic Actuation

ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 2019 Volume 5, Issue 7, Pages 3549-3560

Super-paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) have multiple theranostics applications such as T2 contrast agent in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electromagnetic manipulations in biomedical devices, sensors, and regenerative medicines. However, SPIONs suffer from the limitation of free radical generation, and this has a certain limitation in its applicability in tissue imaging and regeneration applications. In the current study, we developed a simple hydrothermal method to prepare carbon quantum dots (CD) doped SPIONs (FeCD) from easily available precursors. The nanoparticles are observed to be cytocompatible, hemocompatible, and capable of scavenging free radicals in vitro. They also have been observed to be…

Achieving Molecular Orientation in Thermally Extruded 3D Printed Objects

Biofabrication 2019 Volue 11, Number 4, Article 045004

3D printing is used to fabricate tissue scaffolds. The polymer chains in these objects are typically unoriented. The mechanical properties of these scaffolds can be significantly enhanced by proper alignment of the polymer chains. But, post-processing routes to increase orientation can be limited by the geometry of the printed object. Here we show that it is possible to orient the polymer chains during printing by optimizing the printing parameters to take advantage of the flow characteristics of the polymer. This is demonstrated by printing a polymeric scaffold for meniscus regeneration using poly(desaminotyrosyl-tyrosine dodecyl dodecanedioate), poly(DTD DD). Alignment of the polymer…

Engineering patient-specific bioprinted constructs for treatment of degenerated intervertebral disc

Materials Today Communications 2019 Volume 19, Pages 506-512

Lower back pain (LBP), which is strongly associated with intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration, is one of the most frequently reported age- and work-related disorder in actual society, leading to a huge socio-economic impact worldwide. The current treatments have poor clinical outcomes and do not consider each patient needs. Thus, there is a growing interest in the potential of personalized cell-based tissue engineering (TE) approaches aimed to regenerate the damaged IVD and efficiently restore full disc function. In this work, a bioink composed by silk fibroin (SF) hydrogel combined with elastin was used to bioprint patient-specific substitutes mimicking IVD ultrastructure, in…

Homogeneous hydroxyapatite/alginate composite hydrogel promotes calcified cartilage matrix deposition with potential for three-dimensional bioprinting

Biofabrication 2019 Volume 11, Issue 1, Article 015015

Calcified cartilage regeneration plays an important role in successful osteochondral repair, since it provides a biological and mechanical transition from the unmineralized cartilage at the articulating surface to the underlying mineralized bone. To biomimic native calcified cartilage in engineered constructs, here we test the hypothesis that hydroxyapatite (HAP) stimulates chondrocytes to secrete the characteristic matrix of calcified cartilage. Sodium citrate (SC) was added as a dispersant of HAP within alginate (ALG), and homogeneous dispersal of HAP within ALG hydrogel was confirmed using sedimentation tests, electron microscopy, and energy dispersive spectroscopy. To examine the biological performance of ALG/HAP composites, chondrocyte survival…

Doping of Carbon Quantum Dots (CDs) in Calcium Phosphate Nanorods for Inducing Ectopic Chondrogenesis via Activation of the HIF-α/SOX‑9 Pathway

ACS Omega 2019 Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 374-386

Calcium phosphate (CaPs)-based nanostructures are mostly known to induce osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). However, in the current study, doping of carbon quantum dots into calcium phosphate nanorods (C-CaPs) has been observed to affect the differentiation pathway and enhanced the expression of chondrogenic genes instead of osteogenic ones. Here, we report a microwave-assisted single-step synthesis and doping of carbon dot into calcium phosphate nanorods and their ectopic chondrogenicity in a rodent subcutaneous model. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies show that the doping of carbon dots results in p-type semiconductor-like structure formation…

Reversible physical crosslinking strategy with optimal temperature for 3D bioprinting of human chondrocyte-laden gelatin methacryloyl bioink

Journal of Biomaterials Applications 2018 Volume 33, Issue 5, Pages 609-618

Gelatin methacryloyl is a promising material in tissue engineering and has been widely studied in three-dimensional bioprinting. Although gelatin methacryloyl possesses excellent biocompatibility and tunable mechanical properties, its poor printability/processability has hindered its further applications. In this study, we report a reversible physical crosslinking strategy for precise deposition of human chondrocyte-laden gelatin methacryloyl bioink at low concentration without any sacrificial material by using extrusive three-dimensional bioprinting. The precise printing temperature was determined by the rheological properties of gelatin methacryloyl with temperature. Ten percent (w/v) gelatin methacryloyl was chosen as the printing formula due to highest biocompatibility in three-dimensional cell cultures…

3D printed biofunctionalized scaffolds for microfracture repair of cartilage defects

Biomaterials 2018 Volume 185, Pages 219-231

While articular cartilage defects affect millions of people worldwide from adolescents to adults, the repair of articular cartilage defects still remains challenging due to the limited endogenous regeneration of the tissue and poor integration with implants. In this study, we developed a 3D-printed scaffold functionalized with aggrecan that supports the cellular fraction of bone marrow released from microfracture, a widely used clinical procedure, and demonstrated tremendous improvement of regenerated cartilage tissue quality and joint function in a lapine model. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) revealed doubled thickness of the regenerated cartilage tissue in the group treated with our aggrecan functionalized scaffold…

Determination of geometrical and viscoelastic properties of PLA/PHB samples made by additive manufacturing for urethral substitution

Journal of Biotechnology 2018 Volume 284, Pages 123-130

Additive manufacturing has a great potential for creating hard tissue substitutes, such as bone and cartilage, or soft tissues, such as vascular and skin grafts. This study is a pilot study for 3D printing of a new material mixture potentially used as a tubular substitute for urethra replacement. This new mixture is a blend of polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB). The basic aspect that affects the 3D printing process is correct material preparation and setting of 3D printer parameters. Selection of material and printing parameters depend on printing technology. The printing technology affects material behavior during printing process. The…

Mechanically robust cryogels with injectability and bioprinting supportability for adipose tissue engineering

Acta Biomaterialia 2018 Volume 74, Pages 131-142

Bioengineered adipose tissues have gained increased interest as a promising alternative to autologous tissue flaps and synthetic adipose fillers for soft tissue augmentation and defect reconstruction in clinic. Although many scaffolding materials and biofabrication methods have been investigated for adipose tissue engineering in the last decades, there are still challenges to recapitulate the appropriate adipose tissue microenvironment, maintain volume stability, and induce vascularization to achieve long-term function and integration. In the present research, we fabricated cryogels consisting of methacrylated gelatin, methacrylated hyaluronic acid, and 4arm poly(ethylene glycol) acrylate (PEG-4A) by using cryopolymerization. The cryogels were repeatedly injectable and stretchable, and…

3D fiber deposited polymeric scaffolds for external auditory canal wall

Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine 2018 Volume 29, Issue 5, Article 63

The external auditory canal (EAC) is an osseocartilaginous structure extending from the auricle to the eardrum, which can be affected by congenital, inflammatory, and neoplastic diseases, thus reconstructive materials are needed. Current biomaterial-based approaches for the surgical reconstruction of EAC posterior wall still suffer from resorption (biological) and extrusion (synthetic). In this study, 3D fiber deposited scaffolds based on poly(ethylene oxide terephthalate)/poly(butylene terephthalate) were designed and fabricated to replace the EAC wall. Fiber diameter and scaffold porosity were optimized, leading to 200 ± 33 µm and 55% ± 5%, respectively. The mechanical properties were evaluated, resulting in a Young’s modulus of 25.1 ± 7.0 MPa. Finally, the EAC…

Fast Setting Silk Fibroin Bioink for Bioprinting of Patient-Specific Memory-Shape Implants

Advanced Healthcare Materials 2017 Volume 6, Issue 22, 1701021

The pursuit for the “perfect” biomimetic and personalized implant for musculoskeletal tissue regeneration remains a big challenge. 3D printing technology that makes use of a novel and promising biomaterials can be part of the solution. In this study, a fast setting enzymatic-crosslinked silk fibroin (SF) bioink for 3D bioprinting is developed. Their properties are fine-tuned and different structures with good resolution, reproducibility, and reliability can be fabricated. Many potential applications exist for the SF bioinks including 3D bioprinted scaffolds and patient-specific implants exhibiting unique characteristics such as good mechanical properties, memory-shape feature, suitable degradation, and tunable pore architecture and morphology.

Elastic polyurethane bearing pendant TGF-β1 affinity peptide for potential tissue engineering applications

Materials Science and Engineering: C 2017 Volume 83, Pages 67-77

Highlights * An elastic degradable polyurethane (PU) bearing pendent HSNGLPL peptide for TGF-β1 affinity binding mimics the extracellular matrix function to retain and release growth factors. * The pendant peptide sequence presented a high affinity for TGF-β1 retaining, even when the surface was pre-coated with other proteins. * The synthesized PU shows good extrusion processing ability and can be printed into 3D scaffolds with designed porous structures. * The released TGF-β1 from surface conjugating was tested by differentiation guiding experiments of ATDC5 cells in vitro and the regeneration of the surrounding tissue after implanting in vivo.

Biomimetic 3D printed scaffolds for meniscus tissue engineering

Bioprinting 2017 Volume 8, Pages 1-7

The menisci distribute loads to protect the articular cartilage of the knee joint from excessive stress. Injuries to their avascular inner regions do not heal, disrupt function, and increase the risk for knee osteoarthritis. Meniscus tissue engineering aims to restore normal meniscus function by use of regenerated tissue on bioengineered scaffolds. The primary purpose of this study was to design and 3D print polycaprolactone scaffolds that recapitulate the shape and structural components of the meniscus extracellular matrix to provide a template and structural support for complete cell-based meniscus regeneration. A secondary aim was to characterize 3D printed polycaprolactone scaffold fibre…

Repair of Tympanic Membrane Perforations with Customized, Bioprinted Ear Grafts Using Chinchilla Models

Tissue Engineering Part A 2017 Volume: 24 Issue 5-6, Pages 527-535

The goal of this work is to develop an innovative method that combines bioprinting and endoscopic imaging to repair tympanic membrane perforations (TMPs). TMPs are a serious health issue because they can lead to both conductive hearing loss and repeated otitis media. TMPs occur in 3 to 5% of cases after ear tube placement as well as in cases of acute otitis media (the second most common infection in pediatrics), chronic otitis media with or without cholesteatoma, or as a result of barotrauma to the ear. About 55,000 tympanoplasties, the surgery performed to reconstruct TMPs, are performed every year and…

Fabrication and Evaluation of Electrospun, 3D-Bioplotted, and Combination of Electrospun/3D-Bioplotted Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering Applications

BioMed Research International 2017 Volume 2017, Article ID 6956794

Electrospun scaffolds provide a dense framework of nanofibers with pore sizes and fiber diameters that closely resemble the architecture of native extracellular matrix. However, it generates limited three-dimensional structures of relevant physiological thicknesses. 3D printing allows digitally controlled fabrication of three-dimensional single/multimaterial constructs with precisely ordered fiber and pore architecture in a single build. However, this approach generally lacks the ability to achieve submicron resolution features to mimic native tissue. The goal of this study was to fabricate and evaluate 3D printed, electrospun, and combination of 3D printed/electrospun scaffolds to mimic the native architecture of heterogeneous tissue. We assessed their…

In-situ handheld 3D Bioprinting for cartilage regeneration

Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine 2017 Volume 12, Issue 3, Pages 611-621

Articular cartilage injuries experienced at an early age can lead to the development of osteoarthritis later in life. In situ 3D printing is an exciting and innovative bio-fabrication technology that enables the surgeon to deliver tissue- engineering techniques at the time and location of need. We have created a hand- held 3D printing device (Biopen) that allows the simultaneous co-axial extrusion of bioscaffold and cultured cells directly into the cartilage defect in vivo in a single session surgery. This pilot study assesses the ability of the Biopen to repair a full thickness chondral defect and the early outcomes in cartilage…

Effects of 3D-bioplotted polycaprolactone scaffold geometry on human adipose-derived stem cells viability and proliferation

Rapid Prototyping Journal 2017 Volume 23, Issue 3, Pages 534-542

Purpose This study investigates the effect of 3D-bioplotted polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffold geometry on the biological and mechanical characteristics of human adipose-derived stem cell (hASC) seeded constructs. Design/methodology/approach Four 3D-bioplotted scaffold disc designs (Ø14.5 x 2 mm) with two levels of strand-pore feature sizes and two strand laydown patterns (0°/90° or 0°/120°/240°) were evaluated for hASC viability, proliferation, and construct compressive stiffness after 14 days of in vitro cell culture. Findings Scaffolds with the highest porosity (smaller strand-pore size in 0°/120°/240°) yielded the highest hASC proliferation and viability. Further testing of this design in a 6 mm thick configuration showed that…

Traditional invasive and synchrotron-based non-invasive assessments of 3D-printed hybrid cartilage constructs

Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods 2017 Volume 23, Issue 3, Pages 156-168

Three-dimensional (3D)-printed constructs made of polycaprolactone (PCL) and chondrocyte-impregnated alginate hydrogel (hybrid cartilage constructs) mimic the biphasic nature of articular cartilage, offering promise for cartilage tissue engineering (CTE) applications. However, the regulatory pathway for medical device development requires validation of such constructs through in vitro bench tests and in vivo preclinical examinations premarket approval. Furthermore, non-invasive imaging techniques are required for effective evaluation of the progress of these cartilage constructs, especially when implanted in animal models or human subjects. However, characterization of the individual components of the hybrid cartilage constructs and their associated time-dependent structural changes by currently available non-invasive…

3D bioprinting of BM-MSCs-loaded ECM biomimetic hydrogels for in vitro neocartilage formation

Biofabrication 2016 Volume 8, Issue 3, 035002

In this work we demonstrate how to print 3D biomimetic hydrogel scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering with high cell density (>107 cells ml−1), high cell viability (85 ÷ 90%) and high printing resolution (≈100 μm) through a two coaxial-needles system. The scaffolds were composed of modified biopolymers present in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of cartilage, namely gelatin methacrylamide (GelMA), chondroitin sulfate amino ethyl methacrylate (CS-AEMA) and hyaluronic acid methacrylate (HAMA). The polymers were used to prepare three photocurable bioinks with increasing degree of biomimicry: (i) GelMA, (ii) GelMA + CS-AEMA and (iii) GelMA + CS-AEMA + HAMA. Alginate was added…

3D Printing of Porous Cell-Laden Hydrogel Constructs for Potential Applications in Cartilage Tissue Engineering

ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering 2016 Volume 2, Issue 7, Pages 1200–1210

Hydrogels are particularly attractive as scaffolding materials for cartilage tissue engineering because their high water content closely mimics the native extracellular matrix (ECM). Hydrogels can also provide a three-dimensional (3D) microenvironment for homogeneously suspended cells that retains their rounded morphology and thus facilitates chondrogenesis in cartilage tissue engineering. However, fabricating hydrogel scaffolds or cell-laden hydrogel constructs with a predesigned external shape and internal structure that does not collapse remains challenging because of the low viscosity and high water content of hydrogel precursors. Here, we present a study on the fabrication of (cell-laden) alginate hydrogel constructs using a 3D bioplotting system…

Building the basis for patient-specific meniscal scaffolds: From human knee MRI to fabrication of 3D printed scaffolds

Bioprinting 2016 Volumes 1–2, Pages 1–10

The current strategies for the transplantation of meniscus should be strengthened to tackle the faced limitations of current methods in the clinics. One of the limitations is that current implants are not patient-specific. There is, therefore, a pressing need in the clinics to develop patient-specific implants. The aim of this study was to demonstrate a semi-automatic way of segmenting meniscus tissues from patients’ volumetric knee magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) datasets in order to obtain patient-specific 3D models for 3D printing of patient-specific constructs. High-quality MRI volumetric images were acquired from five healthy male human subjects. The advanced segmentation software, RheumaSCORE,…

Using synchrotron radiation inline phase-contrast imaging computed tomography to visualize three-dimensional printed hybrid constructs for cartilage tissue engineering

Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 2016 Volume 23, Issue 3, Pages 802-812

Synchrotron radiation inline phase-contrast imaging combined with computed tomography (SR-inline-PCI-CT) offers great potential for non-invasive characterization and three-dimensional visualization of fine features in weakly absorbing materials and tissues. For cartilage tissue engineering, the biomaterials and any associated cartilage extracellular matrix (ECM) that is secreted over time are difficult to image using conventional absorption-based imaging techniques. For example, three-dimensional printed polycaprolactone (PCL)/alginate/cell hybrid constructs have low, but different, refractive indices and thicknesses. This paper presents a study on the optimization and utilization of inline-PCI-CT for visualizing the components of three-dimensional printed PCL/alginate/cell hybrid constructs for cartilage tissue engineering. First, histological analysis…

In vitro characterization of design and compressive properties of 3D-biofabricated/decellularized hybrid grafts for tracheal tissue engineering

Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 2016 Volume 59, Pages 572–585

Infection or damage to the trachea, a thin walled and cartilage reinforced conduit that connects the pharynx and larynx to the lungs, leads to serious respiratory medical conditions which can often prove fatal. Current clinical strategies for complex tracheal reconstruction are of limited availability and efficacy, but tissue engineering and regenerative medicine approaches may provide viable alternatives. In this study, we have developed a new “hybrid graft” approach that utilizes decellularized tracheal tissue along with a resorbable polymer scaffold, and holds promise for potential clinical applications. First, we evaluated the effect of our decellularization process on the compression properties of…

Micro-precise spatiotemporal delivery system embedded in 3D printing for complex tissue regeneration

Biofabrication 2016 Volume 8, Number 2, 025003

Three dimensional (3D) printing has emerged as an efficient tool for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, given its advantages for constructing custom-designed scaffolds with tunable microstructure/physical properties. Here we developed a micro-precise spatiotemporal delivery system embedded in 3D printed scaffolds. PLGA microspheres (μS) were encapsulated with growth factors (GFs) and then embedded inside PCL microfibers that constitute custom-designed 3D scaffolds. Given the substantial difference in the melting points between PLGA and PCL and their low heat conductivity, μS were able to maintain its original structure while protecting GF’s bioactivities. Micro-precise spatial control of multiple GFs was achieved by interchanging dispensing…

3D-Bioprinting of Polylactic Acid (PLA) Nanofibers-Alginate Hydrogel Bioink Containing Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells

ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering 2016 Volume 2, Issue 10, Pages 1732–1742

Bioinks play a central role in 3D-bioprinting by providing the supporting environment within which encapsulated cells can endure the stresses encountered during the digitally-driven fabrication process, and continue to mature, proliferate, and eventually form extracellular matrix (ECM). In order to be most effective, it is important that bioprinted constructs recapitulate the native tissue milieu as closely as possible. As such, musculoskeletal soft tissue constructs can benefit from bioinks that mimic their nanofibrous matrix constitution, which is also critical to their function. This study focuses on the development and proof-of-concept assessment of a fibrous bioink composed of alginate hydrogel, polylactic acid…

3D Bioplotting of Gelatin/Alginate Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering: Influence of Crosslinking Degree and Pore Architecture on Physicochemical Properties

Journal of Materials Science & Technology 2016 Volume 32, Issue 9, Pages 889–900

Gelatin/Alginate hydrogels were engineered for bioplotting in tissue engineering. One major drawback of hydrogel scaffolds is the lack of adequate mechanical properties. In this study, using a bioplotter, we constructed the scaffolds with different pore architectures by deposition of gelatin/alginate hydrogels layer-by-layer. The scaffolds with different crosslinking degree were obtained by post-crosslinking methods. Their physicochemical properties, as well as cell viability, were assessed. Different crosslinking methods had little influence on scaffold architecture, porosity, pore size and distribution. By contrast, the water absorption ability, degradation rate and mechanical properties of the scaffolds were dramatically affected by treatment with various concentrations of…

Analyzing biological performance of 3D-printed, cell-impregnated hybrid constructs for cartilage tissue engineering

Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods 2016 Volume 22, Issue 3, Pages 173-188

Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting of hybrid constructs is a promising biofabrication method for cartilage tissue engineering because a synthetic polymer framework and cell-impregnated hydrogel provide structural and biological features of cartilage, respectively. During bioprinting, impregnated cells may be subjected to high temperatures (caused by the adjacent melted polymer) and process-induced mechanical forces, potentially compromising cell function. This study addresses these biofabrication issues, evaluating the heat distribution of printed polycaprolactone (PCL) strands and the rheological property and structural stability of alginate hydrogels at various temperatures and concentrations. The biocompatibility of parameters from these studies was tested by culturing 3D hybrid constructs bioprinted…

Multiscale fabrication of biomimetic scaffolds for tympanic membrane tissue engineering

Biofabrication 2015 Volume 7, Number 2, Article 025005

The tympanic membrane (TM) is a thin tissue able to efficiently collect and transmit sound vibrations across the middle ear thanks to the particular orientation of its collagen fibers, radiate on one side and circular on the opposite side. Through the combination of advanced scaffolds and autologous cells, tissue engineering (TE) could offer valuable alternatives to autografting in major TM lesions. In this study, a multiscale approach based on electrospinning (ES) and additive manufacturing (AM) was investigated to fabricate scaffolds, based on FDA approved copolymers, resembling the anatomic features and collagen fiber arrangement of the human TM. A single scale…

The Application of Three-Dimensional Printing in Animal Model of Augmentation Rhinoplasty

Annals of Biomedical Engineering 2015 Volume 43, Issue 9, Pages 2153-2162

The role of three-dimensional (3D) printing has expanded in diverse areas in medicine. As plastic surgery needs to fulfill the different demands from diverse individuals, the applications of tailored 3D printing will become indispensable. In this study, we evaluated the feasibility of using 3D-printed polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffold seeded with fibrin/chondrocytes as a new dorsal augmentation material for rhinoplasty. The construct was surgically implanted on the nasal dorsum in the subperiosteal plane of six rabbits. The implants were harvested 4 and 12 weeks after implantation and evaluated by gross morphological assessment, radiographic imaging, and histologic examination. The initial shape of the…

Computed Tomography Diffraction-Enhanced Imaging for In Situ Visualization of Tissue Scaffolds Implanted in Cartilage

Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods 2014 Volume 20, Issue 2, Pages 140-148

Long-term in vivo studies on animal models and advances from animal to human studies should rely on noninvasive monitoring methods. Synchrotron radiation (SR)-diffraction enhanced imaging (DEI) has shown great promise as a noninvasive method for visualizing native and/or engineered tissues and bio-microstructures with appreciable details in situ. The objective of this study was to investigate SR-DEI for in situ visualization and characterization of tissue-engineered scaffolds implanted in cartilage. A piglet stifle joint implanted with an engineered scaffold made from poly-ɛ-caprolactone was imaged using SR computed tomography (CT)-DEI at an X-ray energy of 40 keV. For comparison, in situ visualization was also…

Protein-releasing polymeric scaffolds induce fibrochondrocytic differentiation of endogenous cells for knee meniscus regeneration in sheep

Science Translational Medicine 2014 Volume 6, Issue 266, Pages 266ra171

Regeneration of complex tissues, such as kidney, liver, and cartilage, continues to be a scientific and translational challenge. Survival of ex vivo cultured, transplanted cells in tissue grafts is among one of the key barriers. Meniscus is a complex tissue consisting of collagen fibers and proteoglycans with gradient phenotypes of fibrocartilage and functions to provide congruence of the knee joint, without which the patient is likely to develop arthritis. Endogenous stem/progenitor cells regenerated the knee meniscus upon spatially released human connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and transforming growth factor–β3 (TGFβ3) from a three-dimensional (3D)–printed biomaterial, enabling functional knee recovery. Sequentially…

Tissue‐Engineered Tracheal Reconstruction Using Three‐Dimensionally Printed Artificial Tracheal Graft: Preliminary Report

Artificial Organs 2014 Volume 38, Issue 6, pages E95–E105

Three-dimensional printing has come into the spotlight in the realm of tissue engineering. We intended to evaluate the plausibility of 3D-printed (3DP) scaffold coated with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) seeded in fibrin for the repair of partial tracheal defects. MSCs from rabbit bone marrow were expanded and cultured. A half-pipe-shaped 3DP polycaprolactone scaffold was coated with the MSCs seeded in fibrin. The half-pipe tracheal graft was implanted on a 10 × 10-mm artificial tracheal defect in four rabbits. Four and eight weeks after the operation, the reconstructed sites were evaluated bronchoscopically, radiologically, histologically, and functionally. None of the four rabbits showed any…

Three-Dimensional Printing Fiber Reinforced Hydrogel Composites

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2014 Volume 6, Issue 18, Pages 15998–16006

An additive manufacturing process that combines digital modeling and 3D printing was used to prepare fiber reinforced hydrogels in a single-step process. The composite materials were fabricated by selectively pattering a combination of alginate/acrylamide gel precursor solution and an epoxy based UV-curable adhesive (Emax 904 Gel-SC) with an extrusion printer. UV irradiation was used to cure the two inks into a single composite material. Spatial control of fiber distribution within the digital models allowed for the fabrication of a series of materials with a spectrum of swelling behavior and mechanical properties with physical characteristics ranging from soft and wet to…

In situ forming collagen–hyaluronic acid membrane structures: mechanism of self-assembly and applications in regenerative medicine

Acta Biomaterialia 2013 Volume 9, Issue 2, Pages 5153–5161

Bioactive, in situ forming materials have the potential to complement minimally invasive surgical procedures and enhance tissue healing. For such biomaterials to be adopted in the clinic, they must be cost-effective, easily handled by the surgeon and have a history of biocompatibility. To this end, we report a novel and facile self-assembling strategy to create membranes and encapsulating structures using collagen and hyaluronic acid (HA). Unlike membranes built by layer-by-layer deposition of oppositely charged biomolecules, the collagen–HA membranes described here form a diffusion barrier upon electrostatic interaction of the oppositely charged biomolecules, which is further driven by osmotic pressure imbalances.…

The effect of scaffold-cell entrapment capacity and physico-chemical properties on cartilage regeneration

Biomaterials 2013 Volume 34, Issue 17, Pages 4259–4265

An important tenet in designing scaffolds for regenerative medicine consists in mimicking the dynamic mechanical properties of the tissues to be replaced to facilitate patient rehabilitation and restore daily activities. In addition, it is important to determine the contribution of the forming tissue to the mechanical properties of the scaffold during culture to optimize the pore network architecture. Depending on the biomaterial and scaffold fabrication technology, matching the scaffolds mechanical properties to articular cartilage can compromise the porosity, which hampers tissue formation. Here, we show that scaffolds with controlled and interconnected pore volume and matching articular cartilage dynamic mechanical properties,…

Ultraviolet light crosslinking of poly(trimethylene carbonate) for elastomeric tissue engineering scaffolds

Biomaterials 2010 Volume 31, Issue 33, Pages 8696-8705

A practical method of photocrosslinking high molecular weight poly(trimethylene carbonate)(PTMC) is presented. Flexible, elastomeric and biodegradable networks could be readily prepared by UV irradiating PTMC films containing pentaerythritol triacrylate (PETA) and a photoinitiator. The network characteristics, mechanical properties, wettability, and in vitro enzymatic erosion of the photocrosslinked PTMC films were investigated. Densely crosslinked networks with gel contents up to 98% could be obtained in this manner. Upon photocrosslinking, flexible and tough networks with excellent elastomeric properties were obtained. To illustrate the ease with which the properties of the networks can be tailored, blends of PTMC with mPEG-PTMC or with PTMC-PCL-PTMC…

Regeneration of the articular surface of the rabbit synovial joint by cell homing: a proof of concept study

The Lancet 2010 Volume 376, Issue 9739, Pages 440-448

Background A common approach for tissue regeneration is cell delivery, for example by direct transplantation of stem or progenitor cells. An alternative, by recruitment of endogenous cells, needs experimental evidence. We tested the hypothesis that the articular surface of the synovial joint can regenerate with a biological cue spatially embedded in an anatomically correct bioscaffold. Methods In this proof of concept study, the surface morphology of a rabbit proximal humeral joint was captured with laser scanning and reconstructed by computer-aided design. We fabricated an anatomically correct bioscaffold using a composite of poly-ɛ-caprolactone and hydroxyapatite. The entire articular surface of unilateral…

A micro-scale surface-structured PCL scaffold fabricated by a 3D plotter and a chemical blowing agent

Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition 2010 Volume 21, Issue 2, Pages 159-170

To study cell responses, polymeric scaffolds with a controllable pore size and porosity have been fabricated using rapid-prototyping methods. However, the scaffolds fabricated by rapid prototyping have very smooth surfaces, which tend to discourage initial cell attachment. Initial cell attachment, migration, differentiation and proliferation are strongly dependent on the chemical and physical characteristics of the scaffold surface. In this study, we propose a three-dimensional (3D) plotting method supplemented with a chemical blowing agent to produce a surface-modified 3D scaffold in which the surface is inscribed with nano- and micro-sized pores. The chemically-blown 3D polymeric scaffold exhibited positive qualities, including the…

Three-Dimensional Plotter Technology for Fabricating Polymeric Scaffolds with Micro-grooved Surfaces

Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition 2009 Volume 20, Issue 14, Pages 2089-2101
J. Son G. H. Kim

Various mechanical techniques have been used to fabricate biomedical scaffolds, including rapid prototyping (RP) devices that operate from CAD files of the target feature information. The three-dimensional (3-D) bio-plotter is one RP system that can produce design-based scaffolds with good mechanical properties for mimicking cartilage and bones. However, the scaffolds fabricated by RP have very smooth surfaces, which tend to discourage initial cell attachment. Initial cell attachment, migration, differentiation and proliferation are strongly dependent on the chemical and physical characteristics of the scaffold surface. In this study, we propose a new 3-D plotting method supplemented with a piezoelectric system for…

Design and Dynamic Culture of 3D Scaffolds for Cartilage Tissue Engineering

Journal of Biomaterials Applications 2009

Engineered scaffolds for tissue-engineering should be designed to match the stiffness and strength of healthy tissues while maintaining an interconnected pore network and a reasonable porosity. In this work, we have used 3D-ploting technique to produce poly-LLactide (PLLA) macroporous scaffolds with two different pore sizes. The ability of these macroporous scaffolds to support chondrocyte attachment and viability were compared under static and dynamic loading in vitro. Moreover, the 3D-plotting technique was combined with porogen-leaching, leading to micro/macroporous scaffolds, so as to examine the effect of microporosity on the level of cell attachment and viability under similar loading condition. Canine chondrocytes…

Rapid prototyping of anatomically shaped, tissue-engineered implants for restoring congruent articulating surfaces in small joints

Cell Proliferation 2009 Volume 42, Issue 4, pages 485-497

Background:  Preliminary studies investigated advanced scaffold design and tissue engineering approaches towards restoring congruent articulating surfaces in small joints. Materials and methods:  Anatomical femoral and tibial cartilage constructs, fabricated by three-dimensional fibre deposition (3DF) or compression moulding/particulate leaching (CM), were evaluated in vitro and in vivo in an autologous rabbit model. Effects of scaffold pore architecture on rabbit chondrocyte differentiation and mechanical properties were evaluated following in vitro culture and subcutaneous implantation in nude mice. After femoral and tibial osteotomy and autologous implantation of tissue-engineered constructs in rabbit knee joints, implant fixation and joint articulation were evaluated. Results:  Rapid prototyping…

Cartilage Tissue Engineering Using Smart Scaffold Design & Advanced Bio Manufacturing

Orthopaedic Proceedings 2009 91-B:SUPP_II, Pages 343-343

Articular cartilage has a limited regenerative capacity. Tissue engineering strategies adopting seeding and differentiation of individual chondrocytes on porous 3D scaffolds of clinically relevant size remains a considerable challenge. A well documented method to produce small samples of differentiated cartilage tissue in vitro is via micro-mass (pellet) culture, whereby, high concentrations of chondrocytes coalesce to form. a spherical tissue pellet. However, pellet culture techniques are not applied clinically as it is only possible to produce small amounts of tissue (1–2mm). The aims of this study were to develop a method for mass-production of pellets, and investigate whether an alternative “pellet…

Hybrid Process for Fabricating 3D Hierarchical Scaffolds Combining Rapid Prototyping and Electrospinning

Macromolecular Rapid Communications 2008 Volume29, Issue19, Pages 1577-1581

An ideal scaffold should have good mechanical properties and provide a biologically functional implant site. A rapid prototyping system has been introduced as a good method of fabricating 3D scaffolds that mimic the structure in the human body. However, the scaffolds have strands that are too smooth and a pore size that is too large relative to the seeded cells and present unfavorable conditions for initial cell attachment. To overcome these problems, we propose a hybrid technology combining a 3D rapid prototyping system and an electrospinning process to produce a hierarchical 3D biomedical scaffold. The resulting structure consists of alternating…

3D Fiber-Deposited Electrospun Integrated Scaffolds Enhance Cartilage Tissue Formation

Advanced Functional Materials 2008 Volume 18, Issue 1, Pages 53-60

Despite the periodical and completely interconnected pore network that characterizes rapid prototyped scaffolds, cell seeding efficiency remains still a critical factor for optimal tissue regeneration. This can be mainly attributed to the current resolution limits in pore size. We present here novel three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds fabricated by combining 3D fiber deposition (3DF) and electrospinning (ESP). Scaffolds consisted of integrated 3DF periodical macrofiber and random ESP microfiber networks (3DFESP). The 3DF scaffold provides structural integrity and mechanical properties, while the ESP network works as a “sieving” and cell entrapment system and offers?at the same time?cues at the extracellular matrix (ECM) scale.…

Critical Steps toward a Tissue-Engineered Cartilage Implant Using Embryonic Stem Cells

Tissue Engineering Part A 2008 Volume: 14 Issue 1, Pages 135-147

Embryonic stem (ES) cells are a potential source for cartilage tissue engineering because they provide an unlimited supply of cells that can be differentiated into chondrocytes. So far, chondrogenic differentiation of both mouse and human ES cells has only been demonstrated in two-dimensional cultures, in pellet cultures, in a hydrogel, or on thin biomaterials. The next challenge will be to form cartilage on a load-bearing, clinically relevant-sized scaffold in vitro and in vivo, to regenerate defects in patients suffering from articular cartilage disorders. For a successful implant, cells have to be seeded efficiently and homogenously throughout the scaffold. Parameters investigated…

Anatomical 3D fiber – deposited scaffolds for tissue engineering: designing a neotrachea

Tissue Engineering 2007 Volume: 13 Issue 10, Pages 2483-2493

The advantage of using anatomically shaped scaffolds as compared to modeled designs was investigated and assessed in terms of cartilage formation in an artificial tracheal construct. Scaffolds were rapid prototyped with a technique named three-dimensional fiber deposition (3DF). Anatomical scaffolds were fabricated from a patient-derived computerized tomography dataset, and compared to cylindrical and toroidal tubular scaffolds. Lewis rat tracheal chondrocytes were seeded on 3DF scaffolds and cultured for 21 days. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2yl)-2,5-dyphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAG) assays were performed to measure the relative number of cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM) formed. After 3 weeks of culture, the…

Dynamic mechanical properties of 3D fiber-deposited PEOT/PBT scaffolds: An experimental and numerical analysis

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A 2006 Volume 78A, Issue 3, pages 605-614

Mechanical properties of three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds can be appropriately modulated through novel fabrication techniques like 3D fiber deposition (3DF), by varying scaffold’s pore size and shape. Dynamic stiffness, in particular, can be considered as an important property to optimize the scaffold structure for its ultimate in vivo application to regenerate a natural tissue. Experimental data from dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) reveal a dependence of the dynamic stiffness of the scaffold on the intrinsic mechanical and physicochemical properties of the material used, and on the overall porosity and architecture of the construct. The aim of this study was to assess the…

Polymer hollow fiber three-dimensional matrices with controllable cavity and shell thickness

Biomaterials 2006 Volume 27, Issue 35, Pages 5918-5926

Hollow fibers find useful applications in different disciplines like fluid transport and purification, optical guidance, and composite reinforcement. In tissue engineering, they can be used to direct tissue in-growth or to serve as drug delivery depots. The fabrication techniques currently available, however, do not allow to simultaneously organize them into three-dimensional (3D) matrices, thus adding further functionality to approach more complicated or hierarchical structures. We report here the development of a novel technology to fabricate hollow fibers with controllable hollow cavity diameter and shell thickness. By exploiting viscous encapsulation, a rheological phenomenon often undesired in molten polymeric blends flowing through…

3D fiber-deposited scaffolds for tissue engineering: Influence of pores geometry and architecture on dynamic mechanical properties

Biomaterials 2006 Volume 27, Issue 7, Pages 974-985

One of the main issues in tissue engineering is the fabrication of scaffolds that closely mimic the biomechanical properties of the tissues to be regenerated. Conventional fabrication techniques are not sufficiently suitable to control scaffold structure to modulate mechanical properties. Within novel scaffold fabrication processes 3D fiber deposition (3DF) showed great potential for tissue engineering applications because of the precision in making reproducible 3D scaffolds, characterized by 100% interconnected pores with different shapes and sizes. Evidently, these features also affect mechanical properties. Therefore, in this study we considered the influence of different structures on dynamic mechanical properties of 3DF scaffolds.…