Fabrication of soft and hard biocompatible scaffolds using 3D-Bioplotting

In Tissue Engineering and bone reconstruction, alongside the choice of materials, the scaffold design is of great importance. Three dimensional structures not only permit the tuning of chemical and mechanical properties, but they can also copy the outer form of the required bone or cartilaginous structures. While new processes that create such 3D scaffolds by means of Rapid Prototyping have been developed, they are still restricted to a limited type of materials. At the Freiburger Materialforschungszentrum, our group has developed a new process called 3D BioplottingTM. Most kinds of polymers and biopolymers can be used for the fabrication of 3D scaffolds with 3D BioplottingTM, including hydrogels (e.g. collagen, agar), polymer melts (e.g. PLLA, PGA) and two-component systems (e.g. chitosan, fibrin). Tailor made biodegradable scaffolds can be fabricated in a short time using individual computer-tomography data from the patient. In-vitro tests showed promising results and in-vivo experiments are now under observation.