Author(s): Mata A, Kim EJ, Boehm CA, Fleischman AJ, Muschler GF,
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Abstract A three-dimensional (3D) structure comprising precisely defined micro-architecture and surface micro-textures, designed to present specific physical cues to cells and tissues, may provide an efficient scaffold in a variety of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. We report a fabrication technique based on microfabrication and soft lithography that permits for the development of 3D scaffolds with both precisely engineered architecture and tailored surface topography. The scaffold fabrication technique consists of three key steps starting with microfabrication of a mold using an epoxy-based photoresist (SU-8), followed by dual-sided molding of a single layer of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) using a mechanical jig for precise motion control; and finally, alignment, stacking, and adhesion of multiple PDMS layers to achieve a 3D structure. This technique was used to produce 3D Texture and 3D Smooth PDMS scaffolds, where the surface topography comprised 10 microm diameter/height posts and smooth surfaces, respectively. The potential utility of the 3D microfabricated scaffolds, and the role of surface topography, were subsequently investigated in vitro with a combined heterogeneous population of adult human stem cells and their resultant progenitor cells, collectively termed connective tissue progenitors (CTPs), under conditions promoting the osteoblastic phenotype. Examination of bone-marrow derived CTPs cultured on the 3D Texture scaffold for 9 days revealed cell growth in three dimensions and increased cell numbers compared to those on the 3D Smooth scaffold. Furthermore, expression of alkaline phosphatase mRNA was higher on the 3D Texture scaffold, while osteocalcin mRNA expression was comparable for both types of scaffolds.
This article was published in Biomaterials
and referenced in Journal of Biomimetics Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering