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Trends Biotechnol. 2004 Jul;22(7):354-62.

Scaffold-based tissue engineering: rationale for computer-aided design and solid free-form fabrication systems.

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  • 1Division of Bioengineering and Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, National University of Singapore, 119260, Singapore.


One of the milestones in tissue engineering has been the development of 3D scaffolds that guide cells to form functional tissue. Recently, mouldless manufacturing techniques, known as solid free-form fabrication (SFF), or rapid prototyping, have been successfully used to fabricate complex scaffolds. Similarly, to achieve simultaneous addition of cells during the scaffold fabrication, novel robotic assembly and automated 3D cell encapsulation techniques are being developed. As a result of these technologies, tissue-engineered constructs can be prepared that contain a controlled spatial distribution of cells and growth factors, as well as engineered gradients of scaffold materials with a predicted microstructure. Here, we review the application, advancement and future directions of SFF techniques in the design and creation of scaffolds for use in clinically driven tissue engineering.

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