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Materials (Basel). 2014 Mar 13;7(3):2104-2119. doi: 10.3390/ma7032104.

Cartilage Tissue Engineering with Silk Fibroin Scaffolds Fabricated by Indirect Additive Manufacturing Technology.

Author information

1
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Chang Gung University, Kweishan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan. vbshyu@yahoo.com.tw.
2
Craniofacial Research Center, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Kweishan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan. vbshyu@yahoo.com.tw.
3
NTU Additive Manufacturing Centre, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singapore. jolene-liu@imre.a-star.edu.sg.
4
NTU Additive Manufacturing Centre, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singapore. mckchua@ntu.edu.sg.
5
NTU Additive Manufacturing Centre, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798, Singapore. msmchou@ntu.edu.sg.
6
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Chang Gung University, Kweishan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan. jpchen@mail.cgu.edu.tw.
7
Research Center for Industry of Human Ecology, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Kweishan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan. jpchen@mail.cgu.edu.tw.

Abstract

Advanced tissue engineering (TE) technology based on additive manufacturing (AM) can fabricate scaffolds with a three-dimensional (3D) environment suitable for cartilage regeneration. Specifically, AM technology may allow the incorporation of complex architectural features. The present study involves the fabrication of 3D TE scaffolds by an indirect AM approach using silk fibroin (SF). From scanning electron microscopic observations, the presence of micro-pores and interconnected channels within the scaffold could be verified, resulting in a TE scaffold with both micro- and macro-structural features. The intrinsic properties, such as the chemical structure and thermal characteristics of SF, were preserved after the indirect AM manufacturing process. In vitro cell culture within the SF scaffold using porcine articular chondrocytes showed a steady increase in cell numbers up to Day 14. The specific production (per cell basis) of the cartilage-specific extracellular matrix component (collagen Type II) was enhanced with culture time up to 12 weeks, indicating the re-differentiation of chondrocytes within the scaffold. Subcutaneous implantation of the scaffold-chondrocyte constructs in nude mice also confirmed the formation of ectopic cartilage by histological examination and immunostaining.

KEYWORDS:

cartilage tissue engineering selective laser sintering; chondrocytes; indirect additive manufacturing technology; scaffold; silk fibroin

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