, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 233-241

Application of microstereolithography in the development of three-dimensional cartilage regeneration scaffolds

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Abstract

Conventional methods for fabricating three-dimensional (3-D) tissue engineering scaffolds have substantial limitations. In this paper, we present a method for applying microstereolithography in the construction of 3-D cartilage scaffolds. The system provides the ability to fabricate scaffolds having a pre-designed internal structure, such as pore size and porosity, by stacking photopolymerized materials. To control scaffold structure, CAD/CAM technology was used to generate a scaffold pattern algorithm. Since tissue scaffolds must be constructed using a biocompatible, biodegradable material, scaffolds were synthesized using liquid photocurable TMC/TMP, followed by acrylation at the terminal ends, and photocured under UV light irradiation. The solidification properties of the TMC/TMP polymer were also assessed. To assess scaffold functionality, chondrocytes were seeded on two types of 3-D scaffold and characterized for cell adhesion. Results indicate that scaffold geometry plays a critical role in chondrocyte adhesion, ultimately affecting the tissue regeneration utility of the scaffolds. These 3-D scaffolds could eventually lead to optimally designed constructs for the regeneration of various tissues, such as cartilage and bone.