In situ polymerizing collagen for the development of 3D printed tissue engineering scaffolds
Natural materials have been processed and utilized as scaffold materials in the field of tissue engineering for many years. One natural material often utilized is collagen since it is the main structural protein in mammalian tissues and exhibits microstructures suitable for the survival and proliferation of many different cell lineages. However, a common challenge with fibrillized collagen is the difficulty associated with trying to process it into specific three-dimensional designs for the development of scaffolds aimed at regenerating particular tissue types. This project consists of utilizing a custom platform capable of 3D printing in situ polymerizing collagen into user-defined morphologies for the development of 3D collagen-based scaffolds. Various anti-inflammatory compounds such as gold nanoparticles and curcumin were also incorporated into the scaffolds post printing in order to further tailor the cellular responses to the scaffolds. Scanning electron microscopy and neutron activation analysis were performed to verify and quantify the attachment of the gold nanoparticles, respectively. Differential scanning calorimetry was utilized to examine and optimize the stability of the scaffolds after crosslinking. Lastly, water soluble tetrazolium salt and reactive oxygen species assays were performed to assess the biocompatibility of the scaffolds using L929 murine fibroblasts. The results exhibited the viability of the platform to become an effective technique to manufacture and process custom scaffolds for tissue engineering applications.
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