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AUTHOR Khaled, Shaban A. and Alexander, Morgan R. and Irvine, Derek J. and Wildman, Ricky D. and Wallace, Martin J. and Sharpe, Sonja and Yoo, Jae and Roberts, Clive J.
Title Extrusion 3D Printing of Paracetamol Tablets from a Single Formulation with Tunable Release Profiles Through Control of Tablet Geometry [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings AAPS PharmSciTech
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An extrusion-based 3D printer was used to fabricate paracetamol tablets with different geometries (mesh, ring and solid) from a single paste-based formulation formed from standard pharmaceutical ingredients. The tablets demonstrate that tunable drug release profiles can be achieved from this single formulation even with high drug loading (>{thinspace}80{%} w/w). The tablets were evaluated for drug release using a USP dissolution testing type I apparatus. The tablets showed well-defined release profiles (from immediate to sustained release) controlled by their different geometries. The dissolution results showed dependency of drug release on the surface area/volume (SA/V) ratio and the SA of the different tablets. The tablets with larger SA/V ratios and SA had faster drug release. The 3D printed tablets were also evaluated for physical and mechanical properties including tablet dimension, drug content, weight variation and breaking force and were within acceptable range as defined by the international standards stated in the US Pharmacopoeia. X-ray powder diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry and attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to identify the physical form of the active and to assess possible drug-excipient interactions. These data again showed that the tablets meet USP requirement. These results clearly demonstrate the potential of 3D printing to create unique pharmaceutical manufacturing, and potentially clinical, opportunities. The ability to use a single unmodified formulation to achieve defined release profiles could allow, for example, relatively straightforward personalization of medicines for individuals with different metabolism rates for certain drugs and hence could offer significant development and clinical opportunities.
AUTHOR Khaled, Shaban A. and Burley, Jonathan C. and Alexander, Morgan R. and Yang, Jing and Roberts, Clive J.
Title 3D printing of five-in-one dose combination polypill with defined immediate and sustained release profiles [Abstract]
Year 2015
Journal/Proceedings Journal of Controlled Release
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Abstract We have used three dimensional (3D) extrusion printing to manufacture a multi-active solid dosage form or so called polypill. This contains five compartmentalised drugs with two independently controlled and well-defined release profiles. This polypill demonstrates that complex medication regimes can be combined in a single personalised tablet. This could potentially improve adherence for those patients currently taking many separate tablets and also allow ready tailoring of a particular drug combination/drug release for the needs of an individual. The polypill here represents a cardiovascular treatment regime with the incorporation of an immediate release compartment with aspirin and hydrochlorothiazide and three sustained release compartments containing pravastatin, atenolol, and ramipril. X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) were used to assess drug-excipient interaction. The printed polypills were evaluated for drug release using {USP} dissolution testing. We found that the polypill showed the intended immediate and sustained release profiles based upon the active/excipient ratio used.
AUTHOR Khaled, Shaban A. and Alexander, Morgan R. and Wildman, Ricky D. and Wallace, Martin J. and Sharpe, Sonja and Yoo, Jae and Roberts, Clive J.
Title 3D extrusion printing of high drug loading immediate release paracetamol tablets [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings International Journal of Pharmaceutics
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The manufacture of immediate release high drug loading paracetamol oral tablets was achieved using an extrusion based 3D printer from a premixed water based paste formulation. The 3D printed tablets demonstrate that a very high drug (paracetamol) loading formulation (80% w/w) can be printed as an acceptable tablet using a method suitable for personalisation and distributed manufacture. Paracetamol is an example of a drug whose physical form can present challenges to traditional powder compression tableting. Printing avoids these issues and facilitates the relatively high drug loading. The 3D printed tablets were evaluated for physical and mechanical properties including weight variation, friability, breaking force, disintegration time, and dimensions and were within acceptable range as defined by the international standards stated in the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP). X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRPD) was used to identify the physical form of the active. Additionally, XRPD, Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were used to assess possible drug-excipient interactions. The 3D printed tablets were evaluated for drug release using a USP dissolution testing type I apparatus. The tablets showed a profile characteristic of the immediate release profile as intended based upon the active/excipient ratio used with disintegration in less than 60 s and release of most of the drug within 5 min. The results demonstrate the capability of 3D extrusion based printing to produce acceptable high-drug loading tablets from approved materials that comply with current USP standards.
AUTHOR Khaled, Shaban A. and Burley, Jonathan C. and Alexander, Morgan R. and Yang, Jing and Roberts, Clive J.
Title 3D printing of tablets containing multiple drugs with defined release profiles [Abstract]
Year 2015
Journal/Proceedings International Journal of Pharmaceutics
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Abstract We have employed three-dimensional (3D) extrusion-based printing as a medicine manufacturing technique for the production of multi-active tablets with well-defined and separate controlled release profiles for three different drugs. This ‘polypill’ made by a 3D additive manufacture technique demonstrates that complex medication regimes can be combined in a single tablet and that it is viable to formulate and ‘dial up’ this single tablet for the particular needs of an individual. The tablets used to illustrate this concept incorporate an osmotic pump with the drug captopril and sustained release compartments with the drugs nifedipine and glipizide. This combination of medicines could potentially be used to treat diabetics suffering from hypertension. The room temperature extrusion process used to print the formulations used excipients commonly employed in the pharmaceutical industry. Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) were used to assess drug–excipient interaction. The printed formulations were evaluated for drug release using {USP} dissolution testing. We found that the captopril portion showed the intended zero order drug release of an osmotic pump and noted that the nifedipine and glipizide portions showed either first order release or Korsmeyer–Peppas release kinetics dependent upon the active/excipient ratio used.
AUTHOR Hamid, Omar A. and Eltaher, Hoda M. and Sottile, Virginie and Yang, Jing
Title 3D bioprinting of a stem cell-laden, multi-material tubular composite: An approach for spinal cord repair [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Materials Science and Engineering: C
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Development of a biomimetic tubular scaffold capable of recreating developmental neurogenesis using pluripotent stem cells offers a novel strategy for the repair of spinal cord tissues. Recent advances in 3D printing technology have facilitated biofabrication of complex biomimetic environments by precisely controlling the 3D arrangement of various acellular and cellular components (biomaterials, cells and growth factors). Here, we present a 3D printing method to fabricate a complex, patterned and embryoid body (EB)-laden tubular scaffold composed of polycaprolactone (PCL) and hydrogel (alginate or gelatine methacrylate (GelMA)). Our results revealed 3D printing of a strong, macro-porous PCL/hydrogel tubular scaffold with a high capacity to control the porosity of the PCL scaffold, wherein the maximum porosity in the PCL wall was 15%. The method was equally employed to create spatiotemporal protein concentration within the scaffold, demonstrating its ability to generate linear and opposite gradients of model molecules (fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated bovine serum albumin (FITC-BSA) and rhodamine). 3D bioprinting of EBs-laden GelMA was introduced as a novel 3D printing strategy to incorporate EBs in a hydrogel matrix. Cell viability and proliferation were measured post-printing. Following the bioprinting of EBs-laden 5% GelMA hydrogel, neural differentiation of EBs was induced using 1 μM retinoic acid (RA). The differentiated EBs contained βIII-tubulin positive neurons displaying axonal extensions and cells migration. Finally, 3D bioprinting of EBs-laden PCL/GelMA tubular scaffold successfully supported EBs neural differentiation and patterning in response to co-printing with 1 μM RA. 3D printing of a complex heterogeneous tubular scaffold that can encapsulate EBs, spatially controlled protein concentration and promote neuronal patterning will help in developing more biomimetic scaffolds capable of replicating the neural patterning which occurs during neural tube development.
AUTHOR Abu Awwad, Hosam Al-Deen M. and Thiagarajan, Lalitha and Kanczler, Janos M. and Amer, Mahetab H. and Bruce, Gordon and Lanham, Stuart and Rumney, Robin M. H. and Oreffo, Richard O. C. and Dixon, James E.
Title Genetically-programmed, mesenchymal stromal cell-laden & mechanically strong 3D bioprinted scaffolds for bone repair [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Journal of Controlled Release
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Additive manufacturing processes used to create regenerative bone tissue engineered implants are not biocompatible, thereby restricting direct use with stem cells and usually require cell seeding post-fabrication. Combined delivery of stem cells with the controlled release of osteogenic factors, within a mechanically-strong biomaterial combined during manufacturing would replace injectable defect fillers (cements) and allow personalized implants to be rapidly prototyped by 3D bioprinting. Through the use of direct genetic programming via the sustained release of an exogenously delivered transcription factor RUNX2 (delivered as recombinant GET-RUNX2 protein) encapsulated in PLGA microparticles (MPs), we demonstrate that human mesenchymal stromal (stem) cells (hMSCs) can be directly fabricated into a thermo-sintered 3D bioprintable material and achieve effective osteogenic differentiation. Importantly we observed osteogenic programming of gene expression by released GET-RUNX2 (8.2-, 3.3- and 3.9-fold increases in OSX, RUNX2 and OPN expression, respectively) and calcification (von Kossa staining) in our scaffolds. The developed biodegradable PLGA/PEG paste formulation augments high-density bone development in a defect model (~2.4-fold increase in high density bone volume) and can be used to rapidly prototype clinically-sized hMSC-laden implants within minutes using mild, cytocompatible extrusion bioprinting. The ability to create mechanically strong 'cancellous bone-like’ printable implants for tissue repair that contain stem cells and controlled-release of programming factors is innovative, and will facilitate the development of novel localized delivery approaches to direct cellular behaviour for many regenerative medicine applications including those for personalized bone repair.
AUTHOR Eltaher, Hoda M. and Abukunna, Fatima E. and Ruiz-Cantu, Laura and Stone, Zack and Yang, Jing and Dixon, James E.
Title Human-scale tissues with patterned vascular networks by additive manufacturing of sacrificial sugar-protein composites [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Acta Biomaterialia
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Combating necrosis, by supplying nutrients and removing waste, presents the major challenge for engineering large three-dimensional (3D) tissues. Previous elegant work used 3D printing with carbohydrate glass as a cytocompatible sacrificial template to create complex engineered tissues with vascular networks (Miller et al. 2012, Nature Materials). The fragile nature of this material compounded with the technical complexity needed to create high-resolution structures led us to create a flexible sugar-protein composite, termed Gelatin-sucrose matrix (GSM), to achieve a more robust and applicable material. Here we developed a low-range (25–37˚C) temperature sensitive formulation that can be moulded with micron-resolution features or cast during 3D printing to produce complex flexible filament networks forming sacrificial vessels. Using the temperature-sensitivity, we could control filament degeneration meaning GSM can be used with a variety of matrices and crosslinking strategies. Furthermore by incorporation of biocompatible crosslinkers into GSM directly, we could create thin endothelialized vessel walls and generate patterned tissues containing multiple matrices and cell-types. We also demonstrated that perfused vascular channels sustain metabolic function of a variety of cell-types including primary human cells. Importantly, we were able to construct vascularized human noses which otherwise would have been necrotic. Our material can now be exploited to create human-scale tissues for regenerative medicine applications. Statement of Significance Authentic and engineered tissues have demands for mass transport, exchanging nutrients and oxygen, and therefore require vascularization to retain viability and inhibit necrosis. Basic vascular networks must be included within engineered tissues intrinsically. Yet, this has been unachievable in physiologically-sized constructs with tissue-like cell densities until recently. Sacrificial moulding is an alternative in which networks of rigid lattices of filaments are created to prevent subsequent matrix ingress. Our study describes a biocompatible sacrificial sugar-protein formulation; GSM, made from mixtures of inexpensive and readily available bio-grade materials. GSM can be cast/moulded or bioprinted as sacrificial filaments that can rapidly dissolve in an aqueous environment temperature-sensitively. GSM material can be used to engineer viable and vascularized human-scale tissues for regenerative medicine applications.
AUTHOR Ruiz-Cantu, Laura and Gleadall, Andrew and Faris, Callum and Segal, Joel and Shakesheff, Kevin and Yang, Jing
Title Multi-material 3D bioprinting of porous constructs for cartilage regeneration [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Materials Science and Engineering: C
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The current gold standard for nasal reconstruction after rhinectomy or severe trauma includes transposition of autologous cartilage grafts in conjunction with coverage using an autologous skin flap. Harvesting autologous cartilage requires a major additional procedure that may create donor site morbidity. Major nasal reconstruction also requires sculpting autologous cartilages to form a cartilage framework, which is complex, highly skill-demanding and very time consuming. These limitations have prompted facial reconstructive surgeons to explore different techniques such as tissue engineered cartilage. This work explores the use of multi-material 3D bioprinting with chondrocyte-laden gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) and polycaprolactone (PCL) to fabricate constructs that can potentially be used for nasal reconstruction. In this study, we have investigated the effect of 3D manufacturing parameters including temperature, needle gauge, UV exposure time, and cell carrier formulation (GelMA) on the viability and functionality of chondrocytes in bioprinted constructs. Furthermore, we printed chondrocyte-laden GelMA and PCL into composite constructs to combine biological and mechanical properties. It was found that 20% w/v GelMA was the best concentration for the 3D bioprinting of the chondrocytes without comprising the scaffold's porous structure and cell functionality. In addition, the 3D bioprinted constructs showed neocartilage formation and similar mechanical properties to nasal alar cartilage after a 50-day culture period. Neocartilage formation was also observed in the composite constructs evidenced by the presence of glycosaminoglycans and collagen type II. This study shows the feasibility of manufacturing neocartilage using chondrocytes/GelMA/PCL 3D bioprinted porous constructs which could be applied as a method for fabricating implants for nose reconstruction.
AUTHOR Figueiredo, Lara and Le Visage, Catherine and Weiss, Pierre and Yang, Jing
Title Quantifying Oxygen Levels in 3D Bioprinted Cell-Laden Thick Constructs with Perfusable Microchannel Networks [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Polymers
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The survival and function of thick tissue engineered implanted constructs depends on pre-existing, embedded, functional, vascular-like structures that are able to integrate with the host vasculature. Bioprinting was employed to build perfusable vascular-like networks within thick constructs. However, the improvement of oxygen transportation facilitated by these vascular-like networks was directly quantified. Using an optical fiber oxygen sensor, we measured the oxygen content at different positions within 3D bioprinted constructs with and without perfusable microchannel networks. Perfusion was found to play an essential role in maintaining relatively high oxygen content in cell-laden constructs and, consequently, high cell viability. The concentration of oxygen changes following switching on and off the perfusion. Oxygen concentration depletes quickly after pausing perfusion but recovers rapidly after resuming the perfusion. The quantification of oxygen levels within cell-laden hydrogel constructs could provide insight into channel network design and cellular responses.
AUTHOR Prasopthum, Aruna and Deng, Zexing and Khan, Ilyas M. and Yin, Zhanhai and Guo, Baolin and Yang, Jing
Title Three dimensional printed degradable and conductive polymer scaffolds promote chondrogenic differentiation of chondroprogenitor cells [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Biomaterials Science
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Conductive polymers have been used for various biomedical applications including biosensors{,} tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. However{,} the poor processability and brittleness of these polymers hinder the fabrication of three-dimensional structures with desirable geometries. Moreover{,} their application in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine has been so far limited to excitable cells such as neurons and muscle cells. To enable their wider adoption in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine{,} new materials and formulations that overcome current limitations are required. Herein{,} a biodegradable conductive block copolymer{,} tetraaniline-b-polycaprolactone-b-tetraaniline (TPT){,} is synthesised and 3D printed for the first time into porous scaffolds with defined geometries. Inks are formulated by combining TPT with PCL in solutions which are then directly 3D printed to generate porous scaffolds. TPT and PCL are both biodegradable. The combination of TPT with PCL increases the flexibility of the hybrid material compared to pure TPT{,} which is critical for applications that need mechanical robustness of the scaffolds. The highest TPT content shows the lowest tensile failure strain. Moreover{,} the absorption of a cell adhesion-promoting protein (fibronectin) and chondrogenic differentiation of chondroprogenitor cells are found to be dependent on the amount of TPT in the blends. Higher content of TPT in the blends increases both fibronectin adsorption and chondrogenic differentiation{,} though the highest concentration of TPT in the blends is limited by its solubility in the ink. Despite the contradicting effects of TPT concentration on flexibility and chondrogenic differentiation{,} a concentration that strikes a balance between the two factors is still available. It is worth noting that the effect on chondrogenic differentiation is found in scaffolds without external electric stimulation. Our work demonstrates the possibility of 3D printing flexible conductive and biodegradable scaffolds and their potential use in cartilage tissue regeneration{,} and opens up future opportunities in using electric stimulation to control chondrogenesis in these scaffolds.
AUTHOR Dooley, Max and Prasopthum, Aruna and Liao, Zhiyu and Sinjab, Faris and McLaren, Jane and Rose, Felicity R. A. J. and Yang, Jing and Notingher, Ioan
Title Spatially-offset Raman spectroscopy for monitoring mineralization of bone tissue engineering scaffolds: feasibility study based on phantom samples [Abstract]
Year 2019
Journal/Proceedings Biomedical Optics Express
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Using phantom samples, we investigated the feasibility of spatially-offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS) as a tool for monitoring non-invasively the mineralization of bone tissue engineering scaffold in-vivo. The phantom samples consisted of 3D-printed scaffolds of poly-caprolactone (PCL) and hydroxyapatite (HA) blends, with varying concentrations of HA, to mimic the mineralisation process. The scaffolds were covered by a 4 mm layer of skin to simulate the real in-vivo measurement conditions. At a concentration of HA approximately 1/3 that of bone (~0.6 g/cm3), the characteristic Raman band of HA (960 cm−1) was detectable when the PCL:HA layer was located at 4 mm depth within the scaffold (i.e. 8 mm below the skin surface). For the layers of the PCL:HA immediately under the skin (i.e. top of the scaffold), the detection limit of HA was 0.18 g/cm3, which is approximately one order of magnitude lower than that of bone. Similar results were also found for the phantoms simulating uniform and inward gradual mineralisation of the scaffold, indicating the suitability of SORS to detect early stages of mineralisation. Nevertheless, the results also show that the contribution of the materials surrounding the scaffold can be significant and methods for subtraction need to be investigated in the future. In conclusion, these results indicate that spatially-offset Raman spectroscopy is a promising technique for in-vivo longitudinal monitoring scaffold mineralization and bone re-growth.
AUTHOR Gretzinger, Sarah and Beckert, Nicole and Gleadall, Andrew and Lee-Thedieck, Cornelia and Hubbuch, Jürgen
Title 3D bioprinting – Flow cytometry as analytical strategy for 3D cell structures [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings Bioprinting
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The importance of 3D printing technologies increased significantly over the recent years. They are considered to have a huge impact in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, since 3D bioprinting enables the production of cell-laden 3D scaffolds. Transition from academic research to pharmaceutical industry or clinical applications, however, is highly dependent on developing a robust and well-known process, while maintaining critical cell characteristics. Hence, a directed and systematic approach to 3D bioprinting process development is required, which also allows for the monitoring of these cell characteristics. This work presents the development of a flow cytometry-based analytical strategy as a tool for 3D bioprinting research. The development was based on a model process using a commercially available alginate-based bioink, the β-cell line INS-1E, and direct dispensing as 3D bioprinting method. We demonstrated that this set-up enabled viability and proliferation analysis. Additionally, use of an automated sampler facilitated high-throughput screenings. Finally, we showed that each process step, e.g. suspension of cells in bioink or 3D printing, cross-linking of the alginate scaffold after printing, has a crucial impact on INS-1E viability. This reflects the importance of process optimization in 3D bioprinting and the usefulness of the flow cytometry-based analytical strategy described here. The presented strategy has a great potential as a cell characterisation tool for 3D bioprinting and may contribute to a more directed process development.
AUTHOR Visscher, D. O. and Gleadall, A. and Buskermolen, J. K. and Burla, F. and Segal, J. and Koenderink, G. H. and Helder, M. N. and van Zuijlen, P. P. M.
Title Design and fabrication of a hybrid alginate hydrogel/poly(ε-caprolactone) mold for auricular cartilage reconstruction [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B: Applied Biomaterials
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Abstract The aim of this study was to design and manufacture an easily assembled cartilage implant model for auricular reconstruction. First, the printing accuracy and mechanical properties of 3D-printed poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) scaffolds with varying porosities were determined to assess overall material properties. Next, the applicability of alginate as cell carrier for the cartilage implant model was determined. Using the optimal outcomes of both experiments (in terms of (bio)mechanical properties, cell survival, neocartilage formation, and printing accuracy), a hybrid auricular implant model was developed. PCL scaffolds with 600 μm distances between strands exhibited the best mechanical properties and most optimal printing quality for further exploration. In alginate, chondrocytes displayed high cell survival (~83% after 21 days) and produced cartilage-like matrix in vitro. Alginate beads cultured in proliferation medium exhibited slightly higher compressive moduli (6 kPa) compared to beads cultured in chondrogenic medium (3.5 kPa, p > .05). The final auricular mold could be printed with 300 μm pores and high fidelity, and the injected chondrocytes survived the culture period of 21 days. The presented hybrid auricular mold appears to be an adequate model for cartilage tissue engineering and may provide a novel approach to auricular cartilage regeneration for facial reconstruction. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res B Part B: Appl Biomater, 2018.
AUTHOR Prasopthum, Aruna and Shakesheff, Kevin M. and Yang, Jing
Title Direct three-dimensional printing of polymeric scaffolds with nanofibrous topography [Abstract]
Year 2018
Journal/Proceedings Biofabrication
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Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a powerful manufacturing tool for making 3D structures with well-defined architectures for a wide range of applications. The field of tissue engineering has also adopted this technology to fabricate scaffolds for tissue regeneration. The ability to control architecture of scaffolds, e.g. matching anatomical shapes and having defined pore size, has since been improved significantly. However, the material surface of these scaffolds is smooth and does not resemble that found in natural extracellular matrix (ECM), in particular, the nanofibrous morphology of collagen. This natural nanoscale morphology plays a critical role in cell behaviour. Here, we have developed a new approach to directly fabricate polymeric scaffolds with an ECM-like nanofibrous topography and defined architectures using extrusion-based 3D printing. 3D printed tall scaffolds with interconnected pores were created with disparate features spanning from nanometres to centimetres. Our approach removes the need for a sacrificial mould and subsequent mould removal compared to previous methods. Moreover, the nanofibrous topography of the 3D printed scaffolds significantly enhanced protein absorption, cell adhesion and differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells when compared to those with smooth material surfaces. These 3D printed scaffolds with both defined architectures and nanoscale ECM-mimicking morphologies have potential applications in cartilage and bone regeneration.
AUTHOR Liao, Zhiyu and Sinjab, Faris and Nommeots-Nomm, Amy and Jones, Julian and Ruiz-Cantu, Laura and Yang, Jing and Rose, Felicity and Notingher, Ioan
Title Feasibility of Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy for in Vitro and in Vivo Monitoring Mineralization of Bone Tissue Engineering Scaffolds [Abstract]
Year 2017
Journal/Proceedings Analytical Chemistry
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We investigated the feasibility of using spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS) for nondestructive characterization of bone tissue engineering scaffolds. The deep regions of these scaffolds, or scaffolds implanted subcutaneously in live animals, are typically difficult to measure by confocal Raman spectroscopy techniques because of the limited depth penetration of light caused by the high level of light scattering. Layered samples consisting of bioactive glass foams (IEIC16), three-dimensional (3D)-printed biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) scaffolds (PLGA), and hydroxyapatite powder (HA) were used to mimic nondestructive detection of biomineralization for intact real-size 3D tissue engineering constructs. SORS spectra were measured with a new SORS instrument using a digital micromirror device (DMD) to allow software selection of the spatial offsets. The results show that HA can be reliably detected at depths of 0–2.3 mm, which corresponds to the maximum accessible spatial offset of the current instrument. The intensity ratio of Raman bands associated with the scaffolds and HA with the spatial offset depended on the depth at which HA was located. Furthermore, we show the feasibility for in vivo monitoring mineralization of scaffold implanted subcutaneously by demonstrating the ability to measure transcutaneously Raman signals of the scaffolds and HA (fresh chicken skin used as a top layer). The ability to measure spectral depth profiles at high speed (5 s acquisition time) and the ease of implementation make SORS a promising approach for noninvasive characterization of cell/tissue development in vitro, and for long-term in vivo monitoring the mineralization in 3D scaffolds subcutaneously implanted in small animals.
AUTHOR Ruiz-Cantu, Laura and Gleadall, Andrew and Faris, Callum and Segal, Joel and Shakesheff, Kevin and Yang, Jing
Title Characterisation of the surface structure of 3D printed scaffolds for cell infiltration and surgical suturing [Abstract]
Year 2016
Journal/Proceedings Biofabrication
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3D printing is of great interest for tissue engineering scaffolds due to the ability to form complex geometries and control internal structures, including porosity and pore size. The porous structure of scaffolds plays an important role in cell ingrowth and nutrition infusion. Although the internal porosity and pore size of 3D printed scaffolds have been frequently studied, the surface porosity and pore size, which are critical for cell infiltration and mass transport, have not been investigated. The surface geometry can differ considerably from the internal scaffold structure depending on the 3D printing process. It is vital to be able to control the surface geometry of scaffolds as well as the internal structure to fabricate optimal architectures. This work presents a method to control the surface porosity and pore size of 3D printed scaffolds. Six scaffold designs have been printed with surface porosities ranging from 3% to 21%. We have characterised the overall scaffold porosity and surface porosity using optical microscopy and microCT. It has been found that surface porosity has a significant impact on cell infiltration and proliferation. In addition, the porosity of the surface has been found to have an effect on mechanical properties and on the forces required to penetrate the scaffold with a surgical suturing needle. To the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to investigate the surface geometry of extrusion-based 3D printed scaffolds and demonstrates the importance of surface geometry in cell infiltration and clinical manipulation.