3D bioprinting of stem cells and polymer/bioactive glass composite scaffolds for bone tissue engineering

Caroline Murphy, Krishna Kolan, Wenbin Li, Julie Semon, Delbert Day, Ming Leu

Article ID: 92
Vol 3, Issue 1, 2017, Article identifier:54-64

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A major limitation of using synthetic scaffolds in tissue engineering applications is insufficient angiogenesis in scaffold interior. Bioactive borate glasses have been shown to promote angiogenesis. There is a need to investigate the biofabrication of polymer composites by incorporating borate glass to increase the angiogenic capacity of the fabricated scaffolds. In this study, we investigated the bioprinting of human adipose stem cells (ASCs) with a polycaprolactone (PCL)/bioactive borate glass composite. Borate glass at the concentration of 10 to 50 weight %, was added to a mixture of PCL and organic solvent to make an extrudable paste. ASCs suspended in Matrigel were ejected as droplets using a second syringe. Scaffolds measuring 10x10x1 mm3 in overall dimensions with pore sizes ranging from 100 – 300 µm were fabricated. Degradation of the scaffolds in cell culture medium showed a controlled release of bioactive glass for up to two weeks. The viability of ASCs printed on the scaffold was investigated during the same time period. This 3D bioprinting method shows a high potential to create a bioactive, highly angiogenic three-dimensional environment required for complex and dynamic interactions that govern the cell’s behavior in vivo.


bioprinting; biofabrication; human adipose-derived stem cell; MSCs; bioactive glass; polycaprolactone; scaffold; tissue engineering

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18063/IJB.2017.01.005


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