AMS Spring 2023

China: Researchers Improve on 3D Printing PCL Scaffolds with Extrusion-Based Cryogenics

RAPID

Share this Article

Chinese researchers investigate the benefits of using biodegradable polymers for scaffolds, outlined in ‘Fabrication and characterization of porous polycaprolactone scaffold via extrusion-based cryogenic 3D printing for tissue engineering.’ Explaining that there have historically been limitations due to issues like affordability, lack of efficiency in fabrication, and inferior process control, the authors of the study endeavor to improve on previous attempts to use 3D porous PCL scaffolds through combining extrusion-based cryogenic 3D printing with freeze-drying approaches.

Tissue engineering (TE) is a broad field today and one that is expansive with research and many different goals—most of which end in the ultimate discovery of a way to create sustainable bioprinted organs for transplantation. In creating or regenerating tissue, scientists usually work with scaffolds, living cells, and other ‘bioactive factors.’ Structures like scaffolds must be biocompatible, and obviously non-toxic too if they are being implanted into a human patient. Polycaprolactone (PCL) is a commonly used polymer in creating scaffolds, suitable due to features like:

  • Biodegradability
  • Biocompatibility
  • Low melting point
  • Good strength
  • Good solubility

The researchers explain that extrusion-based cryogenic 3D printing (ECP) is gaining more popularity as a choice for bioprinting because it allows for greater strength in scaffolds, whether they are made of collagen, chitosan, PLGA, or other materials. In this study, the authors used ECP to fabricate PCL scaffolds and then study the results.

(a) Schematic illustration of a cryogenic 3D printing platform. (b) Pictorial representation of extrusion-based cryogenic 3D printing and lyophilization of PCL scaffold.

To ensure success in printing, the researchers relied on several different treatments, to include using a rough-surfaced glass slide as a collector, adding a transitional path at the corners of the adhesive area, and scrubbing slides with ethanol, to begin with. Porosity was measured, with results showing an increase due to ‘widening of filament offset.’

Porosity analysis of printed scaffolds. (# denotes groups comparing with CP600 at P < 0.005; & means a comparison between CP800 and CP1000 at P < 0.05).

In terms of measuring biocompatibility, the researchers found that while cell attachment was ‘not well promoted’ at first, cell proliferation was ‘effectively facilitated’ because of the rough surface and porosity of scaffolds.

“Although more stretched cells were found on the surface of EMP group after 7 days, the number of cells on ECP scaffolds were much higher and their morphologies become more stretched as compared to the ones at day 3,” concluded the researchers. “Thus, it can be concluded that PCL scaffolds fabricated via ECP are highly biocompatible and better support cell adhesion and proliferation as compared to EMP scaffolds.

“Overall, the fabricated PCL scaffold, with such improved structural, physico-chemical, and biological features, can be a promising candidate for tissue engineering applications.”

Tissue engineering takes many forms today, from heart tissue engineering to bone tissue engineering to tailored skin grafts. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: ‘Fabrication and characterization of porous polycaprolactone scaffold via extrusion-based cryogenic 3D printing for tissue engineering’]

Share this Article


Recent News

Department of Defense Buys Large Format Metal 3D Printer from AML3D

Unifying 3D Printing Software for Long-Term Manufacturing Success – AMS Speaker Spotlight



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Sponsored

AI-driven Software is Unleashing Growth in Additive Manufacturing – AMS Speaker Spotlight

Additive manufacturing has been gradually gaining ground, but the road to widespread mass customization, on-demand and serial production has been bumpy. Manufacturers eager to embrace this technology are held back...

Sponsored

The Fight for Clean Data in Additive Manufacturing – AMS Speaker Spotlight

Dirty data costs the additive industry millions of dollars a year. Material parameter development, operational mistakes, or part failure could all be avoided if reliable, detailed and comprehensive data about...

New Mitsubishi Electric Automation Software Simulates Production Lines for 3D Printing

Mitsubishi Electric Automation, a U.S. subsidiary of the Japanese multinational, has announced the release of MELSOFT Gemini 3D Simulator Software. MELSOFT Gemini 3D is a digital platform designed for simulating...

AME-3D Taps AMFG Automation Software to Strengthen 3D Printing & Vacuum Casting

According to SmarTech Analysis in its “Opportunities in Additive Manufacturing Software Markets 2023” report, this market is expected to grow faster than previous projections showed, as it’s “evolving at a...