Author(s): Carletti E, Motta A, Migliaresi C
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Abstract In tissue engineering applications or even in 3D cell cultures, the biological cross talk between cells and the scaffold is controlled by the material properties and scaffold characteristics. In order to induce cell adhesion, proliferation, and activation, materials used for the fabrication of scaffolds must possess requirements such as intrinsic biocompatibility and proper chemistry to induce molecular biorecognition from cells. Materials, scaffold mechanical properties and degradation kinetics should be adapted to the specific tissue engineering application to guarantee the required mechanical functions and to accomplish the rate of the new-tissue formation. For scaffolds, pore distribution, exposed surface area, and porosity play a major role, whose amount and distribution influence the penetration and the rate of penetration of cells within the scaffold volume, the architecture of the produced extracellular matrix, and for tissue engineering applications, the final effectiveness of the regenerative process. Depending on the fabrication process, scaffolds with different architecture can be obtained, with random or tailored pore distribution. In the recent years, rapid prototyping computer-controlled techniques have been applied to the fabrication of scaffolds with ordered geometry. This chapter reviews the principal polymeric materials that are used for the fabrication of scaffolds and the scaffold fabrication processes, with examples of properties and selected applications.
This article was published in Methods Mol Biol
and referenced in Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials