Additive manufacture of tissue engineering scaffolds for bone and cartilage
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Bone and cartilage constructs are often plagued with mechanical failure, poor nutrient transport, poor tissue ingrowth, and necrosis of embedded cells. However, advances in computer aided design (CAD) and computational modeling enable the design of scaffolds with complex internal michroarchitectures and the a priori prediction of their transport and mechanical properties, such that the design of constructs satisfying the needs of the tissue environment can be optimized. The goal of this research is to investigate the capability of additive manufacturing technologies to create designed microarchitectured tissue engineering scaffolds for bone and cartilage regeneration. This goal will be achieved by pursuing the following two objectives: (1) the manufacture of bioresorbable thermoplastic scaffolds by selective laser sintering (SLS) (2) and the manufacture of hydrogel scaffolds by large area maskless photopolymerization (LAMP). SLS is a laser based additive manufacturing method in which an object is built layer-by-layer by fusing powdered material using a computer-controlled scanning laser. LAMP is a massively parallel ultraviolet curing-based process that can be used to create hydrogels from a photomonomer on a large-scale (558x558mm) while maintaining extremely high feature resolution (20µm). In this research, SLS is used to process polycaprolactone (PCL) and composites of PCL with hydroxyapatite (HA) for bone tissue engineering applications while LAMP is used to process polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA) which can be used for hard and soft tissue applications.