Project related news and papers

Project related news and papers (83)

Provided are porogen compositions and methods of using such porogen compostions in the manufacture of porous materials, for example, porous silicone elastomers. The porogens generally include comprising a core material and shell material different from the core material. The porogens can be used to form a scaffold for making a resulting porous elastomer when the scaffold is removed.

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  • Polylactic acid (PLA) is one of the most promising polymers for use as the matrix of a bone scaffold. In this work, porous PLA monoliths are fabricated via nonsolvent induced phase separation using dichloromethane as a solvent and hexane as a nonsolvent. The PLA-dichloromethane-hexane compositions which undergo liquid–liquid phase separation followed by gelation are shown to allow for the production of high quality foams. Solvent exchange with methanol after aging the gel is found to substantially reduce shrinkage during drying. Using this simple, versatile and template-free method we produced PLA foams with porosities as high as ∼90.8%, specific surface area up to 54.14 m2/g, crystallinity up to 62.6% and compressive modulus ranging from 1.8 to 57 MPa. Depending on ternary mixture concentration and standing temperature a range of mesoporous and combined meso/macroporous morphologies suitable for use as a bone scaffold are produced.

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The present study deals with the design, fabrication and characterization of porous scaffolds for tissue engineering made of polylactic acid (PLA) and PLA containing hydroxyapatite (HA) nanoparticles. The main novelty relies on the fact that the fabrication of the scaffolds has been achieved avoiding totally the use of toxic chemicals. In particular, the scaffolds are obtained by combining both thermal induced phase separation (TIPS) using ethyl lactate (EL) solutions and supercritical CO2 (scCO2) drying processes. Furthermore, gelatin particles have been used as a leachable porogen and combined with the previous processes to improve the control of the pore structure features of the scaffolds. The results show that the developed technique allows for the fabrication of porous PLA scaffolds with HA concentrations up to 30 wt%. Furthermore, these scaffolds are characterized by an overall porosity as high as 98% and a double scale pore structure. In particular, the appropriate control of the TIPS process and the scCO2 drying allowed for the development of nanoscale fibrous PLA and PLA–HA structures starting from PLA/EL solutions. Concomitantly, the proper selection of the size range of gelatin particles as well as their spatial distribution in the mixture allowed imprinting an interconnected network of large pores inside the scaffolds.

 

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  • For a great variety of research fields extending from photonics to tissue engineering applications, the requests for the construction of three-dimensional structures with high resolution grow more and more imperative. Towards this aim, the direct laser writing technique by multi-photon polymerization, due to its unique properties and characteristics, has proven to be an indispensable tool to high accuracy structuring and has been put on the map as an emerging technology for scaffold 3D printing. In the present review, the basic principles of multi-photon polymerization are presented, the experimental set-up requirements are described and the employed materials demands are thoroughly mentioned as well as the most representative examples of the recent developments in the field.

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  • The porous polymer foams act as a template for neotissuegenesis in tissue engineering, and, as a reservoir for cell transplants such as pancreatic islets while simultaneously providing a functional interface with the host body. The fabrication of foams with the controlled shape, size and pore structure is of prime importance in various bioengineering applications. To this end, here we demonstrate a thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) based facile process for the fabrication of polymer foams with a controlled architecture. The setup comprises of a metallic template bar (T), a metallic conducting block (C) and a non-metallic reservoir tube (R), connected in sequence T-C-R. The process hereinafter termed as Dip TIPS, involves the dipping of the T-bar into a polymer solution, followed by filling of the R-tube with a freezing mixture to induce the phase separation of a polymer solution in the immediate vicinity of T-bar; Subsequent free-drying or freeze-extraction steps produced the polymer foams. An easy exchange of the T-bar of a spherical or rectangular shape allowed the fabrication of tubular, open- capsular and flat-sheet shaped foams. A mere change in the quenching time produced the foams with a thickness ranging from hundreds of microns to several millimeters. And, the pore size was conveniently controlled by varying either the polymer concentration or the quenching temperature. Subsequent in vivo studies in brown Norway rats for 4-weeks demonstrated the guided cell infiltration and homogenous cell distribution through the polymer matrix, without any fibrous capsule and necrotic core. In conclusion, the results show the “Dip TIPS” as a facile and adaptable process for the fabrication of anisotropic channeled porous polymer foams of various shapes and sizes for potential applications in tissue engineering, cell transplantation and other related fields.

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  • Polymeric scaffolds have emerged as a means of generating three-dimensional tissues, such as for the treatment of bone injuries and nonunions. In this study, a fibrous scaffold was designed using the biocompatible, degradable polymer poly-lactic acid in combination with a water dispersible sacrificial polymer, EastONE. Fibers were generated via industry relevant, facile scale-up melt-spinning techniques with an islands-in-the-sea geometry. Following removal of EastONE, a highly porous fiber remained possessing 12 longitudinal channels and pores throughout all internal and external fiber walls. Weight loss and surface area characterization confirmed the generation of highly porous fibers as observed via focused ion beam/scanning electron microscopy. Porous fibers were then knit into a three-dimensional scaffold and seeded with human adipose-derived stem cells (hASC). Confocal microscopy images confirmed hASC attachment to the fiber walls and proliferation throughout the knit structure. Quantification of cell-mediated calcium accretion following culture in osteogenic differentiation medium confirmed hASC differentiation throughout the porous constructs. These results suggest incorporation of a sacrificial polymer within islands-in-the-sea fibers generates a highly porous scaffold capable of supporting stem cell viability and differentiation with the potential to generate large three-dimensional constructs for bone regeneration and/or other tissue engineering applications. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2014.

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  • The production of 3D scaffolds with well-controlled architecture at the micrometer-scale is a fundamental issue for the advancement of tissue engineering towards applications in health care. Stereolithography is a highly versatile and accurate technique to fabricate 3D scaffolds with controlled architectures. Here, a scalable stereolithography method combining mask projection with excimer laser is reported. Its capability is showcased by a variety of mm-sized 3D biodegradable scaffolds patterned with a spatial resolution well-suited for tissue engineering applications. The presented method offers a concrete possibility to scale-up stereolithography-based production of 3D scaffolds to be used in regenerative medicine with potentially high-impact on health care.

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  • The formation of cystic cavitation following severe spinal cord injury (SCI) constitutes one of the major barriers to successful axonal regeneration and tissue repair. The development of bioengineered scaffolds that assist in the bridging of such lesion-induced gaps may contribute to the formulation of combination strategies aimed at promoting functional tissue repair. Our previous in vitro investigations have demonstrated the directed axon regeneration and glial migration supporting properties of microstructured collagen scaffold that had been engineered to possess mechanical properties similar to those of spinal cord tissues. Here, the effect of implanting the longitudinally orientated scaffold into unilateral resection injuries (2 mm long) of the mid-cervical lateral funiculus of adult rats has been investigated using behavioural and correlative morphological techniques. The resection injuries caused an immediate and long lasting (up to 12 weeks post injury) deficit of food pellet retrieval by the ipsilateral forepaw. Implantation of the orientated collagen scaffold promoted a significant improvement in pellet retrieval by the ipsilateral forepaw at 6 weeks which continued to improve up to 12 weeks post injury. In contrast, implantation of a non-orientated gelatine scaffold did not result in significant functional improvement. Surprisingly, the improved motor performance was not correlated with the regeneration of lesioned axons through the implanted scaffold. This observation supports the notion that biomaterials may support functional recovery by mechanisms other than simple bridging of the lesion site, such as the local sprouting of injured, or even non-injured fibres.

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Abstract:

Many conduits have demonstrated potential to substitute nerve autografts; however, the influence of conduit inner diameter (ID) has never been studied as a separate parameter. This experimental study compared motor recovery after segmental nerve repair with two different ID collagen conduits: 1.5 and 2.0 mm. In addition, the conduits were analyzed in vitro to determine the variations of ID before and after hydration. Thirty rats were divided into three groups: 2.0 mm ID, 1.5 mm ID, and a control group autograft. After 12 weeks, the 1.5 mm ID group demonstrated significant increase in force (P < 0.0001) and weight (P < 0.0001) of the tibialis anterior muscle and better histomorphometry results of the peroneal nerve (P < 0.05) compared to 2.0 mm ID group; nevertheless, autograft results outperformed both conduits (P  < 0.0001). Conduits ID were somewhat smaller than advertised, measuring 1.59 ± 0.03 mm and 1.25 ± 0.0 mm. Only the larger conduit showed a 6% increase in ID after hydration, changing to 1.69 ± 0.02 mm. Although autografts perform best, an improvement in motor recovery can be achieved with collagen conduits when a better size match conduit is being used. Minimal changes in collagen conduits ID can be expected after implantation. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery, 2014.

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