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Tissue Eng. 2002 Feb;8(1):1-11.

The design of scaffolds for use in tissue engineering. Part II. Rapid prototyping techniques.

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Design Research Center, School of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


Tissue engineering (TE) is an important emerging area in biomedical engineering for creating biological alternatives for harvested tissues, implants, and prostheses. In TE, a highly porous artificial extracellular matrix or scaffold is required to accommodate mammalian cells and guide their growth and tissue regeneration in three-dimension (3D). However, existing 3D scaffolds for TE proved less than ideal for actual applications because they lack mechanical strength, interconnected channels, and controlled porosity or pores distribution. In this paper, the authors review the application and advancement of rapid prototyping (RP) techniques in the design and creation of synthetic scaffolds for use in TE. We also review the advantages and benefits, and limitations and shortcomings of current RP techniques as well as the future direction of RP development in TE scaffold fabrication.

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