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Research Papers

Hybrid Tissue Engineering Scaffolds by Combination of Three-Dimensional Printing and Cell Photoencapsulation

[+] Author and Article Information
Marica Markovic

Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration,
Institute of Materials Science and Technology,
Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien),
Getreidemarkt 9,
Vienna 1060, Austria
e-mail: marica.markovic@tuwien.ac.at

Jasper Van Hoorick

Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials Research Group,
Ghent University,
Krijgslaan 281 S4-bis,
Ghent 9000, Belgium;
Brussels Photonics Team,
Department of Applied Physics and Photonics,
Vrije Universiteit Brussel,
Pleinlaan 2,
Elsene 1050, Belgium
e-mail: jasper.vanhoorick@ugent.be

Katja Hölzl

Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration,
Institute of Materials Science and Technology,
Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien),
Getreidemarkt 9,
Vienna 1060, Austria
e-mail: katja.hoelzl@tuwien.ac.at

Maximilian Tromayer

Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration,
Institute of Applied Synthetic Chemistry,
Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien),
Getreidemarkt 9,
Vienna 1060, Austria
e-mail: maximilian.tromayer@tuwien.ac.at

Peter Gruber

Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration,
Institute of Materials Science and Technology,
Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien),
Getreidemarkt 9, Vienna 1060, Austria
e-mail: peter.e308.gruber@tuwien.ac.at

Sylvia Nürnberger

Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration,
Medical University of Vienna,
Department of Trauma Surgery,
Währinger Gürtel 18-20,
Vienna 1090, Austria
e-mail: sylvia.nuernberger@meduniwien.ac.at

Peter Dubruel

Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials Research Group,
Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S4-bis,
Ghent 9000, Belgium
e-mail: peter.dubruel@UGent.be

Sandra Van Vlierberghe

Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials Research Group,
Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S4-bis,
9000 Ghent, Brussels,
Photonics Team,
Department of Applied Physics and Photonics,
Vrije Universiteit Brussel,
Pleinlaan 2,
Elsene 1050, Belgium
e-mail: sandra.vanvlierberghe@UGent.be

Robert Liska

Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration,
Institute of Applied Synthetic Chemistry
Division of Macromolecular Chemistry,
Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien),
Getreidemarkt 9,
Vienna 1060, Austria
e-mail: robert.liska@tuwien.ac.at

Aleksandr Ovsianikov

Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration,
Institute of Materials Science and Technology,
Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien),
Getreidemarkt 9,
Vienna 1060, Austria
e-mail: aleksandr.ovsianikov@tuwien.ac.at

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 7, 2015; final manuscript received August 25, 2015; published online September 29, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Ibrahim Ozbolat.

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 6(2), 021001 (Sep 29, 2015) (7 pages) Paper No: NANO-15-1029; doi: 10.1115/1.4031466 History: Received April 07, 2015; Revised August 25, 2015

Three-dimensional (3D) printing offers versatile possibilities for adapting the structural parameters of tissue engineering scaffolds. However, it is also essential to develop procedures allowing efficient cell seeding independent of scaffold geometry and pore size. The aim of this study was to establish a method for seeding the scaffolds using photopolymerizable cell-laden hydrogels. The latter facilitates convenient preparation, and handling of cell suspension, while distributing the hydrogel precursor throughout the pores, before it is cross-linked with light. In addition, encapsulation of living cells within hydrogels can produce constructs with high initial cell loading and intimate cell-matrix contact, similar to that of the natural extra-cellular matrix (ECM). Three dimensional scaffolds were produced from poly(lactic) acid (PLA) by means of fused deposition modeling. A solution of methacrylamide-modified gelatin (Gel-MOD) in cell culture medium containing photoinitiator Li-TPO-L was used as a hydrogel precursor. Being an enzymatically degradable derivative of natural collagen, gelatin-based matrices are biomimetic and potentially support the process of cell-induced remodeling. Preosteoblast cells MC3T3-E1 at a density of 10 × 106 cells per 1 mL were used for testing the seeding procedure and cell proliferation studies. Obtained results indicate that produced constructs support cell survival and proliferation over extended duration of our experiment. The established two-step approach for scaffold seeding with the cells is simple, rapid, and is shown to be highly reproducible. Furthermore, it enables precise control of the initial cell density, while yielding their uniform distribution throughout the scaffold. Such hybrid tissue engineering constructs merge the advantages of rigid 3D printed constructs with the soft hydrogel matrix, potentially mimicking the process of ECM remodeling.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic overview of seeding the scaffolds with the 10% Gel-MOD loaded with cells. (a) Printing scaffolds with fused deposition modeling technique, (b) prewetting scaffolds with the medium using low pressure vacuum, (c) loading scaffold with cells embedded in 10% Gel-MOD, (d) polymerization of the Gel-MOD using UV light for 10 mins (365 nm, 4 mW/cm2), and (e) imaging the cells in scaffold using LSM.

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Fig. 2

Influence of different concentrations of I2959 and LiTPO-L on metabolic activity of MC3T3-E1 after 24 hrs and exposed/not exposed to UV light (PrestoBlue Cell Viability assay). All values are presented as % of positive untreated control. The concentrations, which were not significantly different from the I2959 control after 24 hrs of UV treatment (1.12, 0.6, 0.3, 0.15, 0.075 mM Li-TPO-L) were considered to be not cytotoxic (p > 0.05). DMSO control represents cells treated with 50% DMSO for 1 hr (dead cells control), not showing any difference in metabolic activity from the cells treated with 2, 23 mM Li-TPO-L and UV.

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Fig. 3

Distribution of MC3T3-E1 in the scaffolds and control pellets at different time points over 36 days. Living cells were stained with calcein and dead cells with propidium iodide. Scale bar represents 200 μm.

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Fig. 4

SEM of PLA scaffold. Image (a) presents SEM of PLA scaffold and (b) PLA scaffold loaded with Gel-MOD. On images (c) and (d) is SEM 36 days after seeding with 10% Gel-MOD loaded with MC3T3-E1 cells. The overview image (c) shows the struts of the scaffold with the gel in between. Cells are growing on the surface of the scaffold and the gel and are embedded inside the gel (d). White arrow points to the cell encapsulated in the gel, black points to the cell stretching on the Gel-MOD.

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