The engineering of patient-specific, anatomically shaped, digits
It is now recognized that geometric structures of scaffolds at several size levels have profound influences on cell adhesion, viability, proliferation and differentiation. This study aims to develop an integrated process to fabricate scaffolds with controllable geometric structures at nano-, micro- and macro-scales. A phase-separation method is used to prepare interconnected poly(l-lactide) (PLLA) nanofibrous (NF) scaffolds. The pore size of the NF scaffold at the scale of several hundred micrometers is controlled by the size of porogen, paraffin spheres. At millimeter scale and above, the overall shape of the scaffold is defined by a wax mold produced using a three-dimensional printer. The printer utilizes a stereo lithographic file generated from computed tomographic files retrieved from the National Library of Medicine's Visual Human Project. NF PLLA scaffolds with a human digit shape are successfully prepared using this process. Osteoblast cell line MC3T3-E1 cells are then seeded and cultured in the prepared scaffolds. Cell proliferation, differentiation and biomineralization are characterized to demonstrate the suitability of the scaffolds for the digit bone tissue engineering application.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 30, Issue 14, May 2009, Pages 2735–2740