We investigated the fabrication of highly porous scaffolds made of three different materials [poly(propylene fumarate (PPF) polymer, an ultra-short single-walled carbon nanotube (US-tube) nanocomposite, and a dodecylated US-tube (F-US-tube) nanocomposite] in order to evaluate the effects of material composition and porosity on scaffold pore structure, mechanical properties, and marrow stromal cell culture. All scaffolds were produced by a thermal-crosslinking particulate-leaching technique at specific porogen contents of 75, 80, 85, and 90 vol%. Scanning electron microcopy, microcomputed tomography, and mercury intrusion porosimetry were used to analyze the pore structures of scaffolds. The porogen content was found to dictate the porosity of scaffolds. There was no significant difference in porosity, pore size, and interconnectivity among the different materials for the same porogen fraction. Nearly 100% of the pore volume was interconnected through 20 μm or larger connections for all scaffolds. While interconnectivity through larger connections improved with higher porosity, compressive mechanical properties of scaffolds declined at the same time. However, the compressive modulus, offset yield strength, and compressive strength of F-US-tube nanocomposites were higher than or similar to the corresponding properties for the PPF polymer and US-tube nanocomposites for all the porosities examined. As for in vitro osteoconductivity, marrow stromal cells demonstrated equally good cell attachment and proliferation on all scaffolds made of different materials at each porosity. These results indicate that functionalized ultra-short single-walled carbon nanotube nanocomposite scaffolds with tunable porosity and mechanical properties hold great promise for bone tissue engineering applications.
The objective of this study was to determine how the incorporation of surface-modified alumoxane nanoparticles into a biodegradable fumarate-based polymer affects in vivo bone biocompatibility (characterized by direct bone contact and bone ingrowth) and in vivo degradability. Porous scaffolds were fabricated from four materials: poly(propylene fumarate)/propylene fumarate-diacrylate (PPF/PF-DA) polymer alone; a macrocomposite consisting of PPF/PF-DA polymer with boehmite microparticles; a nanocomposite composed of PPF/PF-DA polymer and mechanically-reinforcing surface-modified alumoxane nanoparticles; and a low molecular weight PPF polymer alone (tested as a degradation control). Scaffolds were implanted in the lateral femoral condyle of adult goats for 12 weeks and evaluated by micro-computed tomography and histological analysis. For all material groups, small amounts of bone, some soft tissue, and a few inflammatory elements were observed within the pores of scaffolds, though many pores remained empty or filled with fluid only. Direct contact between scaffolds and surrounding bone tissue was also observed in all scaffold types, though less commonly. Minimal in vivo degradation occurred during the 12 weeks of implantation in all materials. These results demonstrate that the incorporation of alumoxane nanoparticles into porous PPF/PF-DA scaffolds does not significantly alter in vivo bone biocompatibility or degradation.
Bone tissue engineering; Nanocomposite; Biocompatibility; Nanobiomaterials; Micro-computed tomography
A series of crosslinkable nanocomposites has been developed using hydroxyapatite (HA) nanoparticles and poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF). PPF/HA nanocomposites with four different weight fractions of HA nanoparticles have been characterized in terms of thermal and mechanical properties. To assess surface chemistry of crosslinked PPF/HA nanocomposites, their hydrophilicity and capability of adsorbing proteins have been determined using static contact angle measurement and MicroBCA protein assay kit after incubation with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS), respectively. In vitro cell studies have been performed using MC3T3-E1 mouse pre-osteoblast cells to investigate the ability of PPF/HA nanocomposites to support cell attachment, spreading, and proliferation after 1, 4, and 7 days. By adding HA nanoparticles to PPF, the mechanical properties of crosslinked PPF/HA nanocomposites have not been increased due to the initially high modulus of crosslinked PPF. However, hydrophilicity and serum protein adsorption on the surface of nanocomposites have been significantly increased, resulting in enhanced cell attachment, spreading, and proliferation after 4 days of cell seeding. These results indicate that crosslinkable PPF/HA nanocomposites are useful for hard tissue replacement because of excellent mechanical strength and osteoconductivity.
Poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF); Hydroxyapatite (HA); Nanocomposite; Protein adsorption; Osteoblast response
Nutrient supply and waste removal in porous tissue engineering scaffolds decrease from the periphery to the center, leading to limited depth of ingrowth of new tissue into the scaffold. However, as many tissues experience cyclic physiological strains, this may provide a mechanism to enhance solute transport in vivo before vascularization of the scaffold. The hypothesis of this study was that pore cross-sectional geometry and interconnectivity are of major importance for the effectiveness of cyclic deformation-induced solute transport. Transparent elastic polyurethane scaffolds, with computer-programmed design of pore networks in the form of interconnected channels, were fabricated using a 3D printing and injection molding technique. The scaffold pores were loaded with a colored tracer for optical contrast, cyclically compressed with deformations of 10 and 15% of the original undeformed height at 1.0 Hz. Digital imaging was used to quantify the spatial distribution of the tracer concentration within the pores. Numerical simulations of a fluid–structure interaction model of deformation-induced solute transport were compared to the experimental data. The results of experiments and modeling agreed well and showed that pore interconnectivity heavily influences deformation-induced solute transport. Pore cross-sectional geometry appears to be of less relative importance in interconnected pore networks. Validated computer models of solute transport can be used to design optimal scaffold pore geometries that will enhance the convective transport of nutrients inside the scaffold and the removal of waste, thus improving the cell survivability deep inside the scaffold.
Computational modeling; Cyclic strain; Imaging; Solid freeform fabrication; Tissue engineering
Treatment of large segmental bone defects remains an unsolved clinical challenge, despite a wide array of existing bone graft materials. This project was designed to rapidly assess and compare promising biodegradable osteoconductive scaffolds for use in the systematic development of new bone regeneration methodologies that combine scaffolds, sources of osteogenic cells, and bioactive scaffold modifications. Promising biomaterials and scaffold fabrication methods were identified in laboratories at Rutgers, MIT, Integra Life Sciences, and Mayo Clinic. Scaffolds were fabricated from various materials, including poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA), poly(L-lactide-co-ɛ-caprolactone) (PLCL), tyrosine-derived polycarbonate (TyrPC), and poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF). Highly porous three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds were fabricated by 3D printing, laser stereolithography, or solvent casting followed by porogen leaching. The canine femoral multi-defect model was used to systematically compare scaffold performance and enable selection of the most promising substrate(s) on which to add cell sourcing options and bioactive surface modifications. Mineralized cancellous allograft (MCA) was used to provide a comparative reference to the current clinical standard for osteoconductive scaffolds. Percent bone volume within the defect was assessed 4 weeks after implantation using both MicroCT and limited histomorphometry. Bone formed at the periphery of all scaffolds with varying levels of radial ingrowth. MCA produced a rapid and advanced stage of bone formation and remodeling throughout the defect in 4 weeks, greatly exceeding the performance of all polymer scaffolds. Two scaffold constructs, TyrPCPL/TCP and PPF4SLA/HAPLGA
Dip, proved to be significantly better than alternative PLGA and PLCL scaffolds, justifying further development. MCA remains the current standard for osteoconductive scaffolds.
One of the greatest challenges in scaffold based tissue engineering remains poor and inefficient penetration of cells into scaffolds to generate thick vascularized and cellular tissues. Electrospinning has emerged as a preferred method for producing scaffolds with high surface area to volume ratios and resemblance to extracellular matrix. However, cellular infiltration and vascular ingrowth is insufficient due to lack of macro-pore interconnectivity in electrospun scaffolds with high fiber density. In this study we report a novel two-step electrospinning and laser cutting fabrication method to enhance the macro-porosity of electrospun scaffolds.
Materials and Methods
Polycaprolactone dissolved in hexafluoroisopropanol was electrospun at 25kV to create uniform 100–120 µm sheets of polycaprolactone fiber mats (1–5 µm fiber diameter) with an array of pores created using VERSA LASER CUTTER 2.3. Three groups of fiber mats with three distinct pore diameters (300µm, 160µm and 80µm, all with 15% pore area) were fabricated and compared to a control group without laser cut pores. After laser cutting, all mats were collagen coated and manually wrapped around a catheter six times to form six concentric layers prior to implantation into the omentum of Lewis rats. Cellular infiltration and vascular ingrowth were examined after 2 weeks.
Histological analysis of 14 day samples showed that scaffolds with laser cut pores had close to 40% more cellular infiltration and increased vascular ingrowth in the innermost layers of the construct as compared to the control group. Despite keeping pore area percentage constant between the three groups, the sheets with largest pore size performed better than those with smaller pore sizes.
Porosity is the primary factor limiting the extensive use of electrospun scaffolds in tissue engineering. Our method of LASER cutting pores in electrospun fibrous scaffolds ensures uniform pore sizes, easily controllable and customizable pores, and enhances cellular infiltration and vascular ingrowth demonstrating significant advancement towards utility of electrospun scaffolds in tissue engineering.
The structural features of tissue engineering scaffolds affect cell response and must be engineered to support cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. The scaffold acts as an interim synthetic extracellular matrix (ECM) that cells interact prior to forming new tissue. In this review, bone tissue engineering is used as the primary example because of our group’s focus and for the sake of brevity. We focus on nano-fibrous scaffolds and the incorporation of other components including other nanofeatures into the scaffold structure. Since the ECM is comprised in large part of collagen fibers, between 50–500 nm in diameter, well-designed nano-fibrous scaffolds mimic this structure. Our group has developed a novel thermally-induced phase separation (TIPS) process in which a solution of biodegradable polymer is cast into a porous scaffold, resulting in a nano-fibrous pore-wall structure. These nano-scale fibers have a diameter (50–500 nm) comparable to those collagen fibers found in the ECM. This process can then be combined with a porogen leaching technique, also developed by our group, to engineer an interconnected pore structure that promotes cell migration and tissue ingrowth in three dimensions. To improve upon efforts to incorporate a ceramic component into polymer scaffolds by mixing, our group has also developed a technique where apatite crystals are grown onto biodegradable polymer scaffolds by soaking them in simulated body fluid (SBF). By changing the polymer used, the concentration of ions in the SBF and by varying the treatment time, the size and distribution of these crystals is varied. Work is currently being done to improve the distribution of these crystals throughout three-dimensional scaffolds and to create nano-scale apatite deposits that better mimic those found in the ECM. In both nano-fibrous and composite scaffolds, cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation improved when compared to control scaffolds. Additionally, composite scaffolds showed a decrease in incidence of apoptosis when compared to polymer control in bone tissue engineering. Nanoparticles have been integrated into the nano-structured scaffolds to deliver biologically active molecules such as growth and differentiation factors to regulate cell behavior for optimal tissue regeneration.
Biomimetic Materials; Cells; Nanofibers; Nanoparticles; Tissue Scaffolding
Integrating an advanced manufacturing technique, nanocomposite material and controlled delivery of growth factor to form multifunctional tissue engineering scaffolds was investigated in this study. Based on calcium phosphate (Ca–P)/poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) nanocomposite microspheres, three-dimensional Ca–P/PHBV nanocomposite scaffolds with customized architecture, controlled porosity and totally interconnected porous structure were successfully fabricated using selective laser sintering (SLS), one of the rapid prototyping technologies. The cytocompatibility of sintered Ca–P/PHBV nanocomposite scaffolds, as well as PHBV polymer scaffolds, was studied. For surface modification of nanocomposite scaffolds, gelatin was firstly physically entrapped onto the scaffold surface and heparin was subsequently immobilized on entrapped gelatin. The surface-modification improved the wettability of scaffolds and provided specific binding site between conjugated heparin and the growth factor recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2). The surface-modified Ca–P/PHBV nanocomposite scaffolds loaded with rhBMP-2 significantly enhanced the alkaline phosphatase activity and osteogenic differentiation markers in gene expression of C3H10T1/2 mesenchymal stem cells. Together with osteoconductive nanocomposite material and controlled growth factor delivery strategies, the use of SLS technique to form complex scaffolds will provide a promising route towards individualized bone tissue regeneration.
nanocomposite; scaffold; selective laser sintering; surface modification; bone tissue engineering
Generally, solid-freeform fabricated scaffolds show a controllable pore structure (pore size, porosity, pore connectivity, and permeability) and mechanical properties by using computer-aided techniques. Although the scaffolds can provide repeated and appropriate pore structures for tissue regeneration, they have a low biological activity, such as low cell-seeding efficiency and nonuniform cell density in the scaffold interior after a long culture period, due to a large pore size and completely open pores. Here we fabricated three different poly(ɛ-caprolactone) (PCL)/alginate scaffolds: (1) a rapid prototyped porous PCL scaffold coated with an alginate, (2) the same PCL scaffold coated with a mixture of alginate and cells, and (3) a multidispensed hybrid PCL/alginate scaffold embedded with cell-laden alginate struts. The three scaffolds had similar micropore structures (pore size=430–580 μm, porosity=62%–68%, square pore shape). Preosteoblast cells (MC3T3-E1) were used at the same cell density in each scaffold. By measuring cell-seeding efficiency, cell viability, and cell distribution after various periods of culturing, we sought to determine which scaffold was more appropriate for homogeneously regenerated tissues.
Tissue engineering of the small intestine remains experimental despite worldwide attempts to develop a functional substitute for short bowel syndrome. Most published studies have reported predominant use of PLLA (poly-L-lactide acid)/PGA (polyglycolic acid) copolymer as the scaffold material, and studies have been limited by in vivo experiments. This lack of progress has inspired a fresh perspective and provoked further investigation and development in this field of tissue engineering. In the present paper, we exploit a relatively new nanocomposite of POSS (polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane) and PCL [poly(caprolactone-urea)urethane] as a material to develop porous scaffolds using a solvent casting/particulate leaching technique to fabricate porous scaffolds in different pore sizes and porosities. Scaffolds were characterized for pore morphology and porosity using scanning electron microscopy and micro-computed tomography. Rat intestinal epithelial cells were then seeded on to the polymer scaffolds for an in vitro study of cell compatibility and proliferation, which was assessed by Alamar Blue™ and lactate dehydrogenase assays performed for 21 days post-seeding. The results obtained demonstrate that POSS–PCL nanocomposite was produced as a macroporous scaffold with porosity over the range of 40–80% and pore size over the range of 150–250 μm. This scaffold was shown to support epithelial cell proliferation and growth. In conclusion, as a further step in investigating small intestinal tissue engineering, the nanocomposite employed in this study may prove to be a useful alternative to poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) in the future.
intestinal epithelial cell (IEC); nanocomposite; poly(caprolactone-urea)urethane (PCL); scaffold; tissue engineering; DMAC, dimethylacetamide; FTIR, Fourier-transform infrared; IEC, intestinal epithelial cell; LDH, lactate dehydrogenase; micro-CT, micro-computed tomography; PCL, poly(caprolactone-urea)urethane; PCU, poly(carbonate-urea)urethane; PGA, polyglycolic acid; PLGA, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid); PN, parenteral; POSS, polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane; SBS, short bowel syndrome; SEM, scanning electron microscopy
Scaffold design parameters, especially physical construction factors such as mechanical stiffness of substrate materials, pore size of 3D porous scaffolds, and channel geometry, are known to influence the osteogenic signal expression and subsequent differentiation of a transplanted cell population. In this study of photocrosslinked poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF) and diethyl fumarate (DEF) scaffolds, the effect of DEF incorporation ratio and pore size on the osteogenic signal expression of rat bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) was investigated. Results demonstrated that DEF concentrations and pore sizes that led to increased scaffold mechanical stiffness also upregulated osteogenic signal expression, including bone morphogenic protein-2 (BMP-2), fibroblast growth factors-2 (FGF-2), transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and Runx2 transcriptional factor. Similar scaffold fabrication parameters supported rapid BMSC osteoblastic differentiation, as demonstrated by increased alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and osteocalcin expression. When scaffolds with random architecture, fabricated by porogen leaching, were compared to those with controlled architecture, fabricated by stereolithography (SLA), results showed that SLA scaffolds with the highly permeable and porous channels also have significantly higher expression of FGF-2, TGF-β1, and VEGF. Subsequent ALP expression and osteopontin secretion were also significantly increased in SLA scaffolds. Based upon these results, we conclude that scaffold properties provided by additive manufacturing techniques such as SLA fabrication, particularly increased mechanical stiffness and high permeability, may stimulate dramatic BMSC responses that promote rapid bone tissue regeneration.
Osteogenic signal expression; Stereolithography; Stiffness; Pore geometry; Bone marrow stromal cells; Poly(propylene fumarate)
In vitro human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) proliferation and differentiation is dependent on scaffold design parameters and specific culture conditions. In this study, we investigate how scaffold microstructure influences hMSC behavior in a perfusion bioreactor system. Poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA) scaffolds are fabricated using supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) gel drying. This production method results in scaffolds fabricated with nanostructure. To introduce a microporous structure, porogen leaching was used in addition to this technique to produce scaffolds of average pore size of 100, 250, and 500 µm. These scaffolds were then cultured in static culture in well plates or dynamic culture in the tubular perfusion system (TPS) bioreactor. Results indicated that hMSCs were able to attach and maintain viability on all scaffolds with higher proliferation in the 250 µm and 500 µm pore sizes of bioreactor cultured scaffolds and 100 µm pore size of statically cultured scaffolds. Osteoblastic differentiation was enhanced in TPS culture as compared to static culture with the highest alkaline phosphatase expression observed in the 250 µm pore size group. Bone morphogenetic protein-2 was also analyzed and expression levels were highest in the 250 µm and 500 µm pore size bioreactor cultured samples. These results demonstrate cellular response to pore size as well as the ability of dynamic culture to enhance these effects.
supercritical fluids; scaffold; PLLA; human mesenchymal stem cells; tissue engineering; bioreactor
The development of three-dimensional (3D) biomimetic scaffolds which provide an optimal environment for cells adhesion, proliferation and differentiation, and guide new tissue formation has been one of the major goals in tissue engineering. In this work, a processing technique has been developed to create 3D nanofibrous gelatin (NF-gelatin) scaffolds, which mimic both the physical architecture and the chemical composition of natural collagen. Gelatin matrices with nanofibrous architecture were first created by using a thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) technique. Macroporous NF-gelatin scaffolds were fabricated by combining the TIPS technique with a porogen-leaching process. The processing parameters were systematically investigated in relation to the fiber diameter, fiber length, surface area, porosity, pore size, interpore connectivity, pore wall architecture, and mechanical properties of the NF-gelatin scaffolds. The resulting NF-gelatin scaffolds possess high surface areas (>32 m2/g), high porosities (>96%), well-connected macropores, and nanofibrous pore wall structures. The technique advantageously controls macropore shape and size by paraffin spheres, interpore connectivity by assembly conditions (time and temperature of heat treatment), pore wall morphology by phase separation and post-treatment parameters, and mechanical properties by polymer concentration and crosslinking density. Compared to commercial gelatin foam (Gelfoam®), the NF-gelatin scaffold showed much better dimensional stability in a tissue culture environment. The NF-gelatin scaffolds, therefore, are excellent scaffolds for tissue engineering.
Calcium phosphate cements have many desirable properties for bone tissue engineering, including osteoconductivity, resorbability, and amenability to rapid prototyping based methods for scaffold fabrication. In this study, we show that dicalcium phosphate dihydrate (DCPD) cements, which are highly resorbable but also inherently weak and brittle, can be reinforced with poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF) to produce strong composites with mechanical properties suitable for bone tissue engineering. Characterization of DCPD-PPF composites revealed significant improvements in mechanical properties for cements with a 1.0 powder to liquid ratio. Compared to non-reinforced controls, flexural strength improved from 1.80 ± 0.19 MPa to 16.14 ± 1.70 MPa, flexural modulus increased from 1073.01 ± 158.40 MPa to 1303.91 ± 110.41 MPa, maximum displacement during testing increased from 0.11 ± 0.04 mm to 0.51 ± 0.09 mm, and work of fracture improved from 2.74 ± 0.78 J/m2 to 249.21 ± 81.64 J/m2. To demonstrate the utility of our approach for scaffold fabrication, 3D macroporous scaffolds were prepared with rapid prototyping technology. Compressive testing revealed that PPF reinforcement increased scaffold strength from 0.31 ± 0.06 MPa to 7.48 ± 0.77 MPa. Finally, 3D PPF-DCPD scaffolds were implanted into calvarial defects in rabbits for 6 weeks. Although the addition of mesenchymal stem cells to the scaffolds did not significantly improve the extent of regeneration, numerous bone nodules with active osteoblasts were observed within the scaffold pores, especially in the peripheral regions. Overall, the results of this study suggest that PPF-DCPD composites may be promising scaffold materials for bone tissue engineering.
This study investigates the efficacy of two dimensional (2D) carbon and inorganic nanostructures as reinforcing agents of crosslinked composites of the biodegradable and biocompatible polymer polypropylene fumarate (PPF) as a function of nanostructure concentration. PPF composites were reinforced using various 2D nanostructures: single- and multi-walled graphene oxide nanoribbons (SWGONRs, MWGONRs), graphene oxide nanoplatelets (GONPs), and molybdenum di-sulfite nanoplatelets (MSNPs) at 0.01–0.2 weight% concentrations. Cross-linked PPF was used as the baseline control, and PPF composites reinforced with single- or multi-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT, MWCNT) were used as positive controls. Compression and flexural testing show a significant enhancement (i.e., compressive modulus = 35–108%, compressive yield strength = 26–93%, flexural modulus = 15–53%, and flexural yield strength = 101–262% greater than the baseline control) in the mechanical properties of the 2D-reinforced PPF nanocomposites. MSNPs nanocomposites consistently showed the highest values among the experimental or control groups in all the mechanical measurements. In general, the inorganic nanoparticle MSNPs showed a better or equivalent mechanical reinforcement compared to carbon nanomaterials, and 2-D nanostructures (GONP, MSNP) are better reinforcing agents compared to 1-D nanostructures (e.g. SWCNTs). The results also indicate that the extent of mechanical reinforcement is closely dependent on the nanostructure morphology and follows the trend nanoplatelets > nanoribbons > nanotubes. Transmission electron microscopy of the cross-linked nanocomposites indicates good dispersion of nanomaterials in the polymer matrix without the use of a surfactant. The sol-fraction analysis showed significant changes in the polymer cross-linking in the presence of MSNP (0.01–0.2 wt %) and higher loading concentrations of GONP and MWGONR (0.1–0.2 wt%). The analysis of surface area and aspect ratio of the nanostructures taken together with the above results indicates differences in nanostructure architecture (2D vs. 1D nanostructures), as well as the chemical compositions (inorganic vs. carbon nanostructures), number of functional groups, and structural defects for the 2D nanostructures maybe key properties that affect the mechanical properties of 2D nanostructure-reinforced PPF nanocomposites, and the reason for the enhanced mechanical properties compared to the controls.
Tissue engineering techniques using novel scaffolding materials offer potential alternatives for managing tendon disorders. An ideal tendon tissue engineered scaffold should mimic the three-dimensional (3D) structure of the natural extracellular matrix (ECM) of the native tendon. Here, we propose a novel electrospun nanoyarn network that is morphologically and structurally similar to the ECM of native tendon tissues. The nanoyarn, random nanofiber, and aligned nanofiber scaffolds of a synthetic biodegradable polymer, poly(l-lactide-co-ɛ-caprolactone) [P(LLA-CL)], and natural collagen I complex were fabricated using electrospinning. These scaffolds were characterized in terms of fiber morphology, pore size, porosity, and chemical and mechanical properties for the purpose of culturing tendon cells (TCs) for tendon tissue engineering. The results indicated a fiber diameter of 632±81 nm for the random nanofiber scaffold, 643±97 nm for the aligned nanofiber scaffold, and 641±68 nm for the nanoyarn scaffold. The yarn in the nanoyarn scaffold was twisted by many nanofibers similar to the structure and inherent nanoscale organization of tendons, indicating an increase in the diameter of 9.51±3.62 μm. The nanoyarn scaffold also contained 3D aligned microstructures with large interconnected pores and high porosity. Fourier transform infrared analyses revealed the presence of collagen in the three scaffolds. The mechanical properties of the sample scaffolds indicated that the scaffolds had desirable mechanical properties for tissue regeneration. Further, the results revealed that TC proliferation and infiltration, and the expression of tendon-related ECM genes, were significantly enhanced on the nanoyarn scaffold compared with that on the random nanofiber and aligned nanofiber scaffolds. This study demonstrates that electrospun P(LLA-CL)/collagen nanoyarn is a novel, 3D, macroporous, aligned scaffold that has potential application in tendon tissue engineering.
A novel scaffold fabrication method utilizing both polymer blend extrusion and gas foaming techniques to control pore size distribution is presented. Seventy five per cent of all pores produced using polymer blend extrusion alone were less than 50 μm. Introducing a gas technique provided better control of pore size distribution, expanding the range from 0-50 to 0-350 μm. Varying sintering time, annealing temperature and foaming pressure also helped reduced the percentage of pore sizes below 50 μm. Scaffolds chosen for in vitro cellular studies had a pore size distribution of 0-300 μm, average pore size 66 ± 17 μm, 0.54 ± 0.02% porosity and 98% interconnectivity, measured by micro computed tomography (microCT) analysis. The ability of the scaffolds to support osteogenic differentiation and cranial defect repair was evaluated by static and dynamic (0.035 ± 0.006 m s-1 terminal velocity) cultivation with dura mater stem cells (DSCs). In vitro studies showed minimal increases in proliferation over 28 days in culture in osteogenic media. Alkaline phosphatase expression remained constant throughout the study. Moderate increases in matrix deposition, as assessed by histochemical staining and microCT analysis, occurred at later time points, days 21 and 28. Although constructs cultured dynamically showed greater mineralization than static conditions, these trends were not significant. It remains unclear whether bioreactor culture of DSCs is advantageous for bone tissue engineering applications. However, these studies show that polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds alone, without the addition of other co-polymers or ceramics, support long-term attachment and mineralization of DSCs throughout the entire porous scaffold.
polycaprolactone; polymer blend; gas foaming; bioreactor culture; dura; bone repair
Porous ceramic scaffolds are widely studied in the tissue engineering field due to their potential in medical applications as bone substitutes or as bone-filling materials. Solid free form (SFF) fabrication methods allow fabrication of ceramic scaffolds with fully controlled pore architecture, which opens new perspectives in bone tissue regeneration materials. However, little experimentation has been performed about real biological properties and possible applications of SFF designed 3D ceramic scaffolds. Thus, here the biological properties of a specific SFF scaffold are evaluated first, both in vitro and in vivo, and later scaffolds are also implanted in pig maxillary defect, which is a model for a possible application in maxillofacial surgery. In vitro results show good biocompatibility of the scaffolds, promoting cell ingrowth. In vivo results indicate that material on its own conducts surrounding tissue and allow cell ingrowth, thanks to the designed pore size. Additional osteoinductive properties were obtained with BMP-2, which was loaded on scaffolds, and optimal bone formation was observed in pig implantation model. Collectively, data show that SFF scaffolds have real application possibilities for bone tissue engineering purposes, with the main advantage of being fully customizable 3D structures.
Scaffolds from poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(butylene terephthalate), PEOT/PBT, with a PEO molecular weight of 1,000 and a PEOT content of 70 weight% (1000PEOT70PBT30) were prepared by leaching salt particles (425–500 μm). Scaffolds of 73.5, 80.6 and 85.0% porosity were treated with a CO2 gas plasma and seeded with rat bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs). After in vitro culture for 7 days (d) in an osteogenic medium the scaffolds were subcutaneously implanted for 4 weeks in nude mice. Poly(d, l-lactide) (PDLLA) and biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) scaffolds were included as references. After 4 weeks (wks) all scaffolds showed ectopic formation of bone and bone marrow. For the scaffolds of different porosities, no significant differences were observed in the relative amounts of bone (7–9%) and bone marrow (6–11%) formed, even though micro computed tomography (μ-CT) data showed considerable differences in accessible pore volume and surface area. 1000PEOT70PBT30 scaffolds with a porosity of 85% could not maintain their original shape in vivo. Surprisingly, 1000PEOT70PBT30 scaffolds with a porosity of 73.5% showed cartilage formation. This cartilage formation is most likely due to poorly accessible pores in the scaffolds, as was observed in histological sections. μ-CT data showed a considerably smaller accessible pore volume (as a fraction of the total volume) than in 1000PEOT70PBT30 scaffolds of 80.6 and 85.0% porosity. BMSC seeded PDLLA (83.5% porosity) and BCP scaffolds (29% porosity) always showed considerably more bone and bone marrow formation (bone marrow formation is approximately 40%) and less fibrous tissue ingrowth than the 1000PEOT70PBT30 scaffolds. The scaffold material itself can be of great influence. In more hydrophobic and rigid scaffolds like the PDLLA or BCP scaffolds, the accessibility of the pore structure is more likely to be preserved under the prevailing physiological conditions than in the case of hydrophilic 1000PEOT70PBT30 scaffolds. Scaffolds prepared from other PEOT/PBT polymer compositions, might prove to be more suited.
The success of tissue engineering will rely on the ability to generate complex, cell seeded three-dimensional (3D) structures. Therefore, methods that can be used to precisely engineer the architecture and topography of scaffolding materials will represent a critical aspect of functional tissue engineering. Previous approaches for 3D scaffold fabrication based on top-down and process driven methods are often not adequate to produce complex structures due to the lack of control on scaffold architecture, porosity, and cellular interactions. The proposed projection stereolithography (PSL) platform can be used to design intricate 3D tissue scaffolds that can be engineered to mimic the microarchitecture of tissues, based on computer aided design (CAD). The PSL system was developed, programmed and optimized to fabricate 3D scaffolds using gelatin methacrylate (GelMA). Variation of the structure and prepolymer concentration enabled tailoring the mechanical properties of the scaffolds. A dynamic cell seeding method was utilized to improve the coverage of the scaffold throughout its thickness. The results demonstrated that the interconnectivity of pores allowed for uniform human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) distribution and proliferation in the scaffolds, leading to high cell density and confluency at the end of the culture period. Moreover, immunohistochemistry results showed that cells seeded on the scaffold maintained their endothelial phenotype, demonstrating the biological functionality of the microfabricated GelMA scaffolds.
Microfabrication; Three dimensional printing; Scaffold; Mechanical properties; Confocal microscopy; Cell proliferation
Highly accurate rendering of the external and internal geometry of bone tissue engineering scaffolds effects fit at the defect site, loading of internal pore spaces with cells, bioreactor-delivered nutrient and growth factor circulation, and scaffold resorption. It may be necessary to render resorbable polymer scaffolds with 50 μm or less accuracy to achieve these goals. This level of accuracy is available using Continuous Digital Light processing (cDLP) which utilizes a DLP® (Texas Instruments, Dallas, TX) chip. One such additive manufacturing device is the envisionTEC (Ferndale, MI) Perfactory®. To use cDLP we integrate a photo-crosslinkable polymer, a photo-initiator, and a biocompatible dye. The dye attenuates light, thereby limiting the depth of polymerization. In this study we fabricated scaffolds using the well-studied resorbable polymer, poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF), titanium dioxide (TiO2) as a dye, Irgacure® 819 (BASF [Ciba], Florham Park, NJ) as an initiator, and diethyl fumarate as a solvent to control viscosity.
continuous Digital Light Processing (cDLP); Bone Tissue Engineering; poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF); titanium dioxide (TiO2); Additive Manufacturing
Tissue engineering is a promising area with a broad range of applications in the fields of regenerative medicine and human health. The emergence of periodontal tissue engineering for clinical treatment of periodontal disease has opened a new therapeutic avenue. The choice of scaffold is crucial. This study was conducted to prepare zein scaffold and explore the suitability of zein and Shuanghuangbu for periodontal tissue engineering.
A zein scaffold was made using the solvent casting/particulate leaching method with sodium chloride (NaCl) particles as the porogen. The physical properties of the zein scaffold were evaluated by observing its shape and determining its pore structure and porosity. Cytotoxicity testing of the scaffold was carried out via in vitro cell culture experiments, including a liquid extraction experiment and the direct contact assay. Also, the Chinese medicine Shuanghuangbu, as a growth factor, was diluted by scaffold extract into different concentrations. This Shuanghuangbu-scaffold extract was then added to periodontal ligament cells (PDLCs) in order to determine its effect on cell proliferation.
The zein scaffold displayed a sponge-like structure with a high porosity and sufficient thickness. The porosity and pore size of the zein scaffold can be controlled by changing the porogen particles dosage and size. The porosity was up to 64.1%–78.0%. The pores were well-distributed, interconnected, and porous. The toxicity of the zein scaffold was graded as 0–1. Furthermore, PDLCs displayed full stretching and vigorous growth under scanning electronic microscope (SEM). Shuanghuangbu-scaffold extract could reinforce proliferation activity of PDLCs compared to the control group, especially at 100 μg·mL−1 (P<0.01).
A zein scaffold with high porosity, open pore wall structure, and good biocompatibility is conducive to the growth of PDLCs. Zein could be used as scaffold to repair periodontal tissue defects. Also, Shuanghuangbu-scaffold extract can enhance the proliferation activity of PDLCs. Altogether, these findings provide the basis for in vivo testing on animals.
zein; periodontal tissue engineering; scaffold; periodontal ligament cells; Shuanghuangbu
Biomineral coatings have been extensively used to enhance the osteoconductivity of polymeric scaffolds. Numerous porous scaffolds have previously been coated with a bone-like apatite mineral through incubation in simulated body fluid (SBF). However, characterization of the mineral layer formed on scaffolds, including the amount of mineral within the scaffolds, often requires destructive methods. We have developed a method using micro-computed tomography (μ-CT) scanning to nondestructively quantify the amount of mineral in vitro and in vivo on biodegradable scaffolds made of poly (L-lactic acid) (PLLA) and poly (ɛ-caprolactone) (PCL). PLLA and PCL scaffolds were fabricated using an indirect solid freeform fabrication (SFF) technique to achieve orthogonally interconnected pore architectures. Biomineral coatings were formed on the fabricated PLLA and PCL scaffolds after incubation in modified SBF (mSBF). Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction confirmed the formation of an apatite-like mineral. The scaffolds were implanted into mouse ectopic sites for 3 and 10 weeks. The presence of a biomineral coating within the porous scaffolds was confirmed through plastic embedding and μ-CT techniques. Tissue mineral content (TMC) and volume of mineral on the scaffold surfaces detected by μ-CT had a strong correlation with the amount of calcium measured by the orthocresolphthalein complex-one (OCPC) method before and after implantation. There was a strong correlation between OCPC pre- and postimplantation and μ-CT measured TMC (R2=0.96 preimplant; R2=0.90 postimplant) and mineral volume (R2=0.96 preimplant; R2=0.89 postimplant). The μ-CT technique showed increases in mineral following implantation, suggesting that μ-CT can be used to nondestructively determine the amount of calcium on coated scaffolds.
In this study, we have investigated the efficacy of inorganic nanotubes as reinforcing agents to improve the mechanical properties of poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF) composites as a function of nanomaterial loading concentration (0.01-0.2 wt%). Tungsten disulfide nanotubes (WSNTs) were used as reinforcing agents in the experimental groups. Single- and multi- walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs and MWCNTs) were used as positive controls, and crosslinked PPF composites were used as baseline control. Mechanical testing (compression and three-point bending) shows a significant enhancement (up to 28-190%) in the mechanical properties (compressive modulus, compressive yield strength, flexural modulus, and flexural yield strength) of WSNT reinforced PPF nanocomposites compared to the baseline control. In comparison to positive controls, at various concentrations, significant improvements in the mechanical properties of WSNT nanocomposites were also observed. In general, the inorganic nanotubes (WSNTs) showed a better (up to 127%) or equivalent mechanical reinforcement compared to carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs and MWCNTs). Sol fraction analysis showed significant increases in the crosslinking density of PPF in the presence of WSNTs (0.01-0.2 wt%). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis on thin sections of crosslinked nanocomposites showed the presence of WSNTs as individual nanotubes in the PPF matrix, whereas SWCNTs and MWCNTs existed as micron sized aggregates. The trend in the surface area of nanostructures obtained by BET surface area analysis was SWCNTs > MWCNTs > WSNTs. The BET surface area analysis, TEM analysis, and sol fraction analysis results taken together suggest that chemical composition (inorganic vs. carbon nanomaterials), presence of functional groups (such as sulfide and oxysulfide), and individual dispersion of the nanomaterials in the polymer matrix (absence of aggregation of the reinforcing agent) are the key parameters affecting the mechanical properties of nanostructure-reinforced PPF composites, and the reason for the observed increases in the mechanical properties compared to the baseline and positive controls.
polymer nanocomposites; carbon nanotubes; tungsten nanotubes; mechanical properties; bone tissue engineering
3D nanofibrous chitosan-polyethylene oxide (PEO) scaffolds were fabricated by electrospinning at different processing parameters. The structural characteristics, such as pore size, overall porosity, pore interconnectivity, and scaffold percolative efficiency (SPE), were simulated by a robust image analysis. Mouse fibroblast cells (L929) were cultured in RPMI for 2 days in the presence of various samples of nanofibrous chitosan/PEO scaffolds. Cell attachments and corresponding mean viability were enhanced from 50% to 110% compared to that belonging to a control even at packed morphologies of scaffolds constituted from pores with nanoscale diameter. To elucidate the correlation between structural characteristics within the depth of the scaffolds' profile and cell viability, a comparative analysis was proposed. This analysis revealed that larger fiber diameters and pore sizes can enhance cell viability. On the contrary, increasing the other structural elements such as overall porosity and interconnectivity due to a simultaneous reduction in fiber diameter and pore size through the electrospinning process can reduce the viability of cells. In addition, it was found that manipulation of the processing parameters in electrospinning can compensate for the effects of packed morphologies of nanofibrous scaffolds and can thus potentially improve the infiltration and viability of cells.