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PLoS One. 2008 Aug 21;3(8):e3032. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003032.

Regenerating articular tissue by converging technologies.

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Institute for BioMedical Technology (BMTI), University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands.


Scaffolds for osteochondral tissue engineering should provide mechanical stability, while offering specific signals for chondral and bone regeneration with a completely interconnected porous network for cell migration, attachment, and proliferation. Composites of polymers and ceramics are often considered to satisfy these requirements. As such methods largely rely on interfacial bonding between the ceramic and polymer phase, they may often compromise the use of the interface as an instrument to direct cell fate. Alternatively, here, we have designed hybrid 3D scaffolds using a novel concept based on biomaterial assembly, thereby omitting the drawbacks of interfacial bonding. Rapid prototyped ceramic particles were integrated into the pores of polymeric 3D fiber-deposited (3DF) matrices and infused with demineralized bone matrix (DBM) to obtain constructs that display the mechanical robustness of ceramics and the flexibility of polymers, mimicking bone tissue properties. Ostechondral scaffolds were then fabricated by directly depositing a 3DF structure optimized for cartilage regeneration adjacent to the bone scaffold. Stem cell seeded scaffolds regenerated both cartilage and bone in vivo.

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