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Biofabrication. 2015 Mar 23;7(1):015015. doi: 10.1088/1758-5090/7/1/015015.

Preclinical study of SZ2080 material 3D microstructured scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering made by femtosecond direct laser writing lithography.

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Institute of Physiology and Pharmacology, Medical Academy, Lithuanian Health Science University, Mickevičiaus 9, LT 44307 Kaunas, Lithuania. Institute of Sports, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Science, Kalniečių 231, LT 44307 Kaunas, Lithuania. Orthopaedic and Trauma Department, Lithuanian Health Science University, Mickevičiaus 9, LT 44307 Kaunas, Lithuania.


Over the last decade DLW employing ultrafast pulsed lasers has become a well-established technique for the creation of custom-made free-form three-dimensional (3D) microscaffolds out of a variety of materials ranging from proteins to biocompatible glasses. Its potential applications for manufacturing a patient's specific scaffold seem unlimited in terms of spatial resolution and geometry complexity. However, despite few exceptions in which live cells or primitive organisms were encapsulated into a polymer matrix, no demonstration of an in vivo study case of scaffolds generated with the use of such a method was performed. Here, we report a preclinical study of 3D artificial microstructured scaffolds out of hybrid organic-inorganic (HOI) material SZ2080 fabricated using the DLW technique. The created 2.1 × 2.1 × 0.21 mm(3) membrane constructs are tested both in vitro by growing isolated allogeneic rabbit chondrocytes (Cho) and in vivo by implanting them into rabbit organisms for one, three and six months. An ex vivo histological examination shows that certain pore geometry and the pre-growing of Cho prior to implantation significantly improves the performance of the created 3D scaffolds. The achieved biocompatibility is comparable to the commercially available collagen membranes. The successful outcome of this study supports the idea that hexagonal-pore-shaped HOI microstructured scaffolds in combination with Cho seeding may be successfully implemented for cartilage tissue engineering.

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