A silk-based scaffold platform with tunable architecture for engineering critically-sized tissue constructs
In the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine there is significant unmet need for critically-sized, fully degradable biomaterial scaffold systems with tunable properties for optimizing tissue formation in vitro and tissue regeneration in vivo. To address this need, we have developed a silk-based scaffold platform that has tunable material properties, including localized and bioactive functionalization, degradation rate, and mechanical properties and that provides arrays of linear hollow channels for delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout the scaffold bulk. The scaffolds can be assembled with dimensions that range from millimeters to centimeters, addressing the need for a critically-sized platform for tissue formation. We demonstrate that the hollow channel arrays support localized and confluent endothelialization. This new platform offers a unique and versatile tool for engineering ‘tailored’ scaffolds for a range of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine needs.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 33, Issue 36, December 2012, Pages 9214–9224