Engineering artificial tissue scaffolds with a similar organization to that of the natural tissue is a key element to the successful recapitulation of function. However, three-dimensional (3-D) fabrication of tissue scaffolds containing complex microarchitectures still remains a challenge. In addition, little attention has been paid to the issue of how to incorporate cells within 3-D tissue scaffolds that contain precisely engineered architectures. Here we report a 3-D biodegradable microscaffolding (3D-BMS) technology and its process characterization as well as a microscale cellular loading technology as an efficient way to massively populate biodegradable polymers with cells at single cell resolution. In this study a particular emphasis was given to characterization of the material properties of the biodegradable polymers undergoing the 3D-BMS processes. Optimal process conditions were identified in order to avoid any unwanted change in material properties, such as crystallinity and scaffold strength, that have a direct impact on the degradation speed and physical integrity of the constructed scaffolds. For precise control of the cell distribution within the microstructured scaffolds a high precision microsieve structure was designed to localize rat hepatocytes and human articular chondrocytes in the biodegradable polymers. Cell suspensions were passed at a predetermined flow rate through biodegradable polymer layers that contained tapered microholes in a massively parallel process. This high resolution cell seeding method allows accurate manipulation of cell placement in thin layers of biodegradable polymers.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank the Center for Biomaterials and Advanced Technologies, a division of Ethicon Inc. , a Johnson and Johnson Company , for financial and material support. In particular, we would like to thank Dr. Kevin Weadock, Dr. Murty Vyakarnam, and Yufu Li at Ethicon Inc. for helpful discussions and DSC measurements on the polymer samples. This work was also supported by the Yonsei University New Faculty Research Seed Money Grant of 2009 and Yonsei University Institute of HRD Program for Nano/Micro Mechanical Engineering, a Brain Korea 21 program, Korea.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Molecular Biology