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Tissue Eng. 2007 Feb;13(2):361-71.

Design of biphasic polymeric 3-dimensional fiber deposited scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering applications.

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1
Institute for BioMedical Technology, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands. l.moroni@tnw.utwente.nl

Abstract

This report describes a novel system to create rapid prototyped 3-dimensional (3D) fibrous scaffolds with a shell-core fiber architecture in which the core polymer supplies the mechanical properties and the shell polymer acts as a coating providing the desired physicochemical surface properties. Poly[(ethylene oxide) terephthalate-co-poly(butylene) terephthalate] (PEOT/PBT) 3D fiber deposited (3DF) scaffolds were fabricated and examined for articular cartilage tissue regeneration. The shell polymer contained a higher molecular weight of the initial poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) segments used in the copolymerization and a higher weight percentage of the PEOT domains compared with the core polymer. The 3DF scaffolds entirely produced with the shell or with the core polymers were also considered. After 3 weeks of culture, scaffolds were homogeneously filled with cartilage tissue, as assessed by scanning electron microscopy. Although comparable amounts of entrapped chondrocytes and of extracellular matrix formation were found for all analyzed scaffolds, chondrocytes maintained their rounded shape and aggregated during the culture period on shell-core 3DF scaffolds, suggesting a proper cell differentiation into articular cartilage. This finding was also observed in the 3DF scaffolds fabricated with the shell composition only. In contrast, cells spread and attached on scaffolds made simply with the core polymer, implying a lower degree of differentiation into articular cartilaginous tissue. Furthermore, the shell-core scaffolds displayed an improved dynamic stiffness as a result of a "prestress" action of the shell polymer on the core one. In addition, the dynamic stiffness of the constructs increased compared with the stiffness of the bare scaffolds before culture. These findings suggest that shell-core 3DF PEOT/PBT scaffolds with desired mechanical and surface properties are a promising solution for improved cartilage tissue engineering.

PMID:
17504063
DOI:
10.1089/ten.2006.0127
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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