Next Article in Journal
Ethylene Polymerization and Copolymerization with Polar Monomers Using Nickel Complexes Bearing Anilinobenzoic Acid Methyl Ester Ligand
Next Article in Special Issue
Development of Poly(HEMA-Am) Polymer Hydrogel Filler for Soft Tissue Reconstruction by Facile Polymerization
Previous Article in Journal
Structural Manipulation of the Conjugated Phenyl Moiety in 3-Phenylbenzofulvene Monomers: Effects on Spontaneous Polymerization
Previous Article in Special Issue
Human Engineered Cartilage and Decellularized Matrix as an Alternative to Animal Osteoarthritis Model
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Polymers 2018, 10(7), 753; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10070753

Electrohydrodynamic Jet 3D Printed Nerve Guide Conduits (NGCs) for Peripheral Nerve Injury Repair

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore 117575, Singapore
2
Faculty of Dentistry, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119083, Singapore
3
NUS Research Institute, Suzhou Industry Park, Suzhou 215123, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 June 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 8 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Scaffolds for Biomedical Application)
Full-Text   |   PDF [5542 KB, uploaded 10 July 2018]   |  

Abstract

The prevalence of peripheral nerve injuries resulting in loss of motor function, sensory function, or both, is on the rise. Artificial Nerve Guide Conduits (NGCs) are considered an effective alternative treatment for autologous nerve grafts, which is the current gold-standard for treating peripheral nerve injuries. In this study, Polycaprolactone-based three-dimensional porous NGCs are fabricated using Electrohydrodynamic jet 3D printing (EHD-jetting) for the first time. The main advantage of this technique is that all the scaffold properties, namely fibre diameter, pore size, porosity, and fibre alignment, can be controlled by tuning the process parameters. In addition, EHD-jetting has the advantages of customizability, repeatability, and scalability. Scaffolds with five different pore sizes (125 to 550 μm) and porosities (65 to 88%) are fabricated and the effect of pore size on the mechanical properties is evaluated. In vitro degradation studies are carried out to investigate the degradation profile of the scaffolds and determine the influence of pore size on the degradation rate and mechanical properties at various degradation time points. Scaffolds with a pore size of 125 ± 15 μm meet the requirements of an optimal NGC structure with a porosity greater than 60%, mechanical properties closer to those of the native peripheral nerves, and an optimal degradation rate matching the nerve regeneration rate post-injury. The in vitro neural differentiation studies also corroborate the same results. Cell proliferation was highest in the scaffolds with a pore size of 125 ± 15 μm assessed by the PrestoBlue assay. The Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) results involving the three most important genes concerning neural differentiation, namely β3-tubulin, NF-H, and GAP-43, confirm that the scaffolds with a pore size of 125 ± 15 μm have the highest gene expression of all the other pore sizes and also outperform the electrospun Polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffold. The immunocytochemistry results, expressing the two important nerve proteins β3-tubulin and NF200, showed directional alignment of the neurite growth along the fibre direction in EHD-jet 3D printed scaffolds. View Full-Text
Keywords: peripheral nerve injury; porous scaffolds; 3D printed scaffolds; tissue engineering; nerve guide conduits; electrohydrodynamic jetting peripheral nerve injury; porous scaffolds; 3D printed scaffolds; tissue engineering; nerve guide conduits; electrohydrodynamic jetting
Figures

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Vijayavenkataraman, S.; Zhang, S.; Thaharah, S.; Sriram, G.; Lu, W.F.; Fuh, J.Y.H. Electrohydrodynamic Jet 3D Printed Nerve Guide Conduits (NGCs) for Peripheral Nerve Injury Repair. Polymers 2018, 10, 753.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Polymers EISSN 2073-4360 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top