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

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 fabricating surface-modified scaffolds. The effects of the physically-modified surface on the mechanical and hydrophilic properties were investigated, and the results of cell culturing of chondrocytes indicate that this technique is a feasible new method for fabricating high-quality 3-D polymeric scaffolds.