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Adv Mater. 2019 Jul;31(30):e1902021. doi: 10.1002/adma.201902021. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

Scalable Fabrication of Porous Microchannel Nerve Guidance Scaffolds with Complex Geometries.

Shahriari D1,2, Loke G1,3, Tafel I1,2,4, Park S1,2,5, Chiang PH1,2, Fink Y1,3,6,7, Anikeeva P1,2,3,8.

Author information

1
Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA.
2
McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA.
3
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA.
4
Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.
5
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA.
6
Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA.
7
Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA.
8
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA.

Abstract

Microchannel scaffolds accelerate nerve repair by guiding growing neuronal processes across injury sites. Although geometry, materials chemistry, stiffness, and porosity have been shown to influence nerve growth within nerve guidance scaffolds, independent tuning of these properties in a high-throughput manner remains a challenge. Here, fiber drawing is combined with salt leaching to produce microchannels with tunable cross sections and porosity. This technique is applicable to an array of biochemically inert polymers, and it delivers hundreds of meters of porous microchannel fibers. Employing these fibers as filaments during 3D printing enables the production of microchannel scaffolds with geometries matching those of biological nerves, including branched topographies. Applied to sensory neurons, fiber-based porous microchannels enhance growth as compared to non-porous channels with matching materials and geometries. The combinatorial scaffold fabrication approach may advance the studies of neural regeneration and accelerate the development of nerve repair devices.

KEYWORDS:

3D printing; nerve guidance scaffolds; nerve repair; porous fibers; thermal drawing

PMID:
31168865
PMCID:
PMC6663568
[Available on 2020-07-01]
DOI:
10.1002/adma.201902021

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