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Materials 2016, 9(11), 893;

Additive Manufacturing of Patient-Customizable Scaffolds for Tubular Tissues Using the Melt-Drawing Method

Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Arne Berner
Received: 8 September 2016 / Revised: 12 October 2016 / Accepted: 31 October 2016 / Published: 3 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing for Biomedical Engineering)
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Polymeric fibrous scaffolds for guiding cell growth are designed to be potentially used for the tissue engineering (TE) of tubular organs including esophagi, blood vessels, tracheas, etc. Tubular scaffolds were fabricated via melt-drawing of highly elastic poly(l-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) (PLC) fibers layer-by-layer on a cylindrical mandrel. The diameter and length of the scaffolds are customizable via 3D printing of the mandrel. Thickness of the scaffolds was varied by changing the number of layers of the melt-drawing process. The morphology and tensile properties of the PLC fibers were investigated. The fibers were highly aligned with a uniform diameter. Their diameters and tensile properties were tunable by varying the melt-drawing speeds. These tailorable topographies and tensile properties show that the additive-based scaffold fabrication technique is customizable at the micro- and macro-scale for different tubular tissues. The merits of these scaffolds in TE were further shown by the finding that myoblast and fibroblast cells seeded onto the scaffolds in vitro showed appropriate cell proliferation and distribution. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) differentiated to smooth muscle lineage on the microfibrous scaffolds in the absence of soluble induction factors, showing cellular shape modulation and scaffold elasticity may encourage the myogenic differentiation of stem cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: tissue engineering; scaffold; additive manufacturing; tubular tissues; melt-drawing tissue engineering; scaffold; additive manufacturing; tubular tissues; melt-drawing

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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).

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Tan, Y.J.; Tan, X.; Yeong, W.Y.; Tor, S.B. Additive Manufacturing of Patient-Customizable Scaffolds for Tubular Tissues Using the Melt-Drawing Method. Materials 2016, 9, 893.

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