, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp 1111-1119

Biomimetic mineral-organic composite scaffolds with controlled internal architecture

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Bone and cartilage generation by three-dimensional scaffolds is one of the promising techniques in tissue engineering. One approach is to generate histologically and functionally normal tissue by delivering healthy cells in biocompatible scaffolds. These scaffolds provide the necessary support for cells to proliferate and maintain their differentiated function, and their architecture defines the ultimate shape. Rapid prototyping (RP) is a technology by which a complex 3-dimensional (3D) structure can be produced indirectly from computer aided design (CAD). The present study aims at developing a 3D organic-inorganic composite scaffold with defined internal architecture by a RP method utilizing a 3D printer to produce wax molds. The composite scaffolds consisting of chitosan and hydroxyapatite were prepared using soluble wax molds. The behaviour and response of MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblast cells on the scaffolds was studied. During a culture period of two and three weeks, cell proliferation and in-growth were observed by phase contrast light microscopy, histological staining and electron microscopy. The Giemsa and Gömöri staining of the cells cultured on scaffolds showed that the cells proliferated not only on the surface, but also filled the micro pores of the scaffolds and produced extracellular matrix within the pores. The electron micrographs showed that the cells covering the surface of the struts were flattened and grew from the periphery into the middle region of the pores.