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Acta Biomater. 2010 Mar;6(3):1047-54. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2009.08.017. Epub 2009 Aug 14.

Stereolithography of spatially controlled multi-material bioactive poly(ethylene glycol) scaffolds.

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University of Texas at El Paso, W.M. Keck Center for 3-D Innovation, 500 W. University Ave., Engineering Building, Rm. 108, El Paso, TX 79968-0521, USA.


Challenges remain in tissue engineering to control the spatial, mechanical, temporal and biochemical architectures of scaffolds. Unique capabilities of stereolithography (SL) for fabricating multi-material spatially controlled bioactive scaffolds were explored in this work. To accomplish multi-material builds, a mini-vat setup was designed allowing for self-aligning X-Y registration during fabrication. The mini-vat setup allowed the part to be easily removed and rinsed, and different photocrosslinkable solutions to be easily removed and added to the vat. Two photocrosslinkable hydrogel biopolymers, poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate (PEG-dma, MW 1000) and poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEG-da, MW 3400), were used as the primary scaffold materials. Multi-material scaffolds were fabricated by including controlled concentrations of fluorescently labeled dextran, fluorescently labeled bioactive PEG or bioactive PEG in different regions of the scaffold. The presence of the fluorescent component in specific regions of the scaffold was analyzed with fluorescent microscopy, while human dermal fibroblast cells were seeded on top of the fabricated scaffolds with selective bioactivity and phase contrast microscopy images were used to show specific localization of cells in the regions patterned with bioactive PEG. Multi-material spatial control was successfully demonstrated in features down to 500 microm. In addition, the equilibrium swelling behavior of the two biopolymers after SL fabrication was determined and used to design constructs with the specified dimensions at the swollen state. The use of multi-material SL and the relative ease of conjugating different bioactive ligands or growth factors to PEG allows for the fabrication of tailored three-dimensional constructs with specified spatially controlled bioactivity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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