Melt electrowriting of thin membranes, curved, and variable section tubular scaffolds

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ICE Krakow

ICE Krakow

ul. Marii Konopnickiej 17 30-302 Kraków


Dean, David (The Ohio State University/Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery )


Melt electrowriting (MEW) has been demonstrated as one of the few biofabrication modalities capable of forming extremely thin micron-sheets for tissue engineering applications (TE). This advantage has been applied to produce planar scaffolds that mimic the tissue in patient-specific anatomical structures e.g., bone and cartilage. Despite the progress in the field, there is a need for further research to manufacture scaffolds with other relevant anatomical shapes. Some of the more complicated anatomies to print out involve curved surfaces and variable cross-section tubes for vascular grafts. Therefore, a methodology is presented here to approach the fabrication for these different geometries. In order to ensure the accuracy of fiber deposition for planar and tubular scaffolds, we have achieved optimal control over process parameters such as voltage, pressure, and rotation/translation speed. Also, the relevant role of the programming of kinematics is showcased in our MEW device with which we have obtained scaffolds of stacked micro-fibers with pore sizes of approximately 500 μm. Work is still ongoing to develop more generic solutions and methods that further expand the range of geometries that can be produced. Nevertheless, the proof-of-concept presented here represents a significant progress in the manufacturing of scaffolds with anatomically relevant shapes.


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