Author(s): Hoque ME, Chuan YL, Pashby I
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Abstract Advances in scaffold design and fabrication technology have brought the tissue engineering field stepping into a new era. Conventional techniques used to develop scaffolds inherit limitations, such as lack of control over the pore morphology and architecture as well as reproducibility. Rapid prototyping (RP) technology, a layer-by-layer additive approach offers a unique opportunity to build complex 3D architectures overcoming those limitations that could ultimately be tailored to cater for patient-specific applications. Using RP methods, researchers have been able to customize scaffolds to mimic the biomechanical properties (in terms of structural integrity, strength, and microenvironment) of the organ or tissue to be repaired/replaced quite closely. This article provides intensive description on various extrusion based scaffold fabrication techniques and review their potential utility for TE applications. The extrusion-based technique extrudes the molten polymer as a thin filament through a nozzle onto a platform layer-by-layer and thus building 3D scaffold. The technique allows full control over pore architecture and dimension in the x- and y- planes. However, the pore height in z-direction is predetermined by the extruding nozzle diameter rather than the technique itself. This review attempts to assess the current state and future prospects of this technology. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
This article was published in Biopolymers
and referenced in Journal of Applied Mechanical Engineering