Tissue engineering scaffolds for tendon and ligament repair

Tissue engineering scaffolds for tendon and ligament repair

Illustrative project image

Medical tags

Clinical need
Trauma surgery
Implantable device
Project keywords
Scaffold, tissue engineering, biofabrication

Project description

In spite of the recent advances in the field of tissue engineering, repair and regeneration, a universal methodology for the development of bioinspired, biomimetic and biomechanical tissue engineering scaffolds, which may serve as substitutes for extra-cellular matrices (ECMs), is not yet available, first of all due to the complexity of biological materials and systems, but also due to all the possible design resources, manufacturing technologies and related materials available, whose results have not been systematically compared.
In this project we present a novel approach towards the straightforward, rapid and low-cost development of biomimetic composite scaffolds aimed at articular repair. The system is based on the additive manufacture (or 3D printing), in our case using selective laser sintering of polyamide powder, of a computer-designed lattice structure or framework, to which carbon fibers are subsequently knitted or incorporated. The outer and inner geometries, the porosity - density distribution and even the values and distribution of mechanical properties can be controlled and tuned from the design stage, even in a personalized way and in accordance with the morphology of the tissue being repaired, thanks to the use of computer-aided design and modeling resources, which promote knowledge-based approaches. The 3D printed lattice structure acts as support and the knitted carbon fibers perform as driving elements for promoting cell colonization of the three-dimensional construct.