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Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2010 Dec;224(12):1389-400.

Temperature-driven processing techniques for manufacturing fully interconnected porous scaffolds in bone tissue engineering.

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  • 1Institute of Composite and Biomedical Materials (IMCB-CNR), National Research Council, Naples, Italy.


The development of structures with a predefined multiscale pore network is a major challenge in designing tissue engineering (TE) scaffolds. To address this, several strategies have been investigated to provide biocompatible, biodegradable porous materials that would be suitable for use as scaffolds, and able to guide and facilitate the cell activity involved in the generation of new tissue regeneration. This study seeks to provide an overview of different temperature-driven process technologies for developing scaffolds with tailored porosity, in which pore size distribution is strictly defined and pores are fully interconnected. Here, three-dimensional (3D) porous composite scaffolds based on poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL) were fabricated by thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) and by melt co-continuous polymer blending (MCPB). The combination of these processes with a salt leaching technique enables the establishment of bimodal porosity within the polymer network. This feature may be exploited in the development of substrates with fully interconnected pores, which can be used effectively for tissue regeneration. Various combinations of the proposed techniques provide a range of procedures for the preparation of porous scaffolds with an appropriate combination of morphological and mechanical properties to reproduce the requisite features of the extracellular matrix (ECM) of hard tissues such as bone.

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