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Nat Commun. 2015 Apr 28;6:6933. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7933.

Reinforcement of hydrogels using three-dimensionally printed microfibres.

Author information

1
1] Department of Orthopaeics, University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands [2] Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, 60 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove QLD 4059, Queensland, Australia.
2
Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, 60 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove QLD 4059, Queensland, Australia.
3
Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Andrew Wiles Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, OX2 6GG Oxford, UK.
4
1] Department of Orthopaeics, University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands [2] Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 112, 3584 CM, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
5
1] Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, 60 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove QLD 4059, Queensland, Australia [2] Department of Functional Materials in Medicine and Dentistry, University of Würzburg, Pleicherwall 2, 97070 Würzburg, Germany.
6
1] Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, 60 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove QLD 4059, Queensland, Australia [2] Georgia Institute of Technology, North Avenue, Atlanta, GA, 30332, USA [3] Institute for Advanced Study, Technical University Munich, Lichtenbergstrasse 2a, 85748 Garching, Munich, Germany.
7
1] Department of Orthopaeics, University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands [2] Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, 60 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove QLD 4059, Queensland, Australia [3] Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 112, 3584 CM, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Despite intensive research, hydrogels currently available for tissue repair in the musculoskeletal system are unable to meet the mechanical, as well as the biological, requirements for successful outcomes. Here we reinforce soft hydrogels with highly organized, high-porosity microfibre networks that are 3D-printed with a technique termed as melt electrospinning writing. We show that the stiffness of the gel/scaffold composites increases synergistically (up to 54-fold), compared with hydrogels or microfibre scaffolds alone. Modelling affirms that reinforcement with defined microscale structures is applicable to numerous hydrogels. The stiffness and elasticity of the composites approach that of articular cartilage tissue. Human chondrocytes embedded in the composites are viable, retain their round morphology and are responsive to an in vitro physiological loading regime in terms of gene expression and matrix production. The current approach of reinforcing hydrogels with 3D-printed microfibres offers a fundament for producing tissue constructs with biological and mechanical compatibility.

PMID:
25917746
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms7933
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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