Advancement in tissue engineering as ‘shape memory’ supports tissue growth

Smart Medical Devices

New research has demonstrated the feasibility of 3D printed tissue scaffolds that harmlessly degrade promoting tissue regeneration after implantation.

The scaffolds have shown very promising tissue healing performance, including the ability to support cell migration, tissue ‘growth’ and revascularisation (growth of blood vessels). Professor Andrew Dove, from the University of Birmingham’s School of Chemistry, led the research team and is the lead author of the Nature Communications paper, which characterizes the physical properties of scaffolds and explains how their ‘shape memory ” is the key to promoting tissue regeneration.

The document describes different compositions for 4Degra resins which allow for the production of materials with a wide range of strengths. All compositions include a photoinitiator and photoinhibitor to ensure the resins gel rapidly when exposed to light in the visible spectrum to enable 3D printing on a variety of scaffold geometries. The researchers demonstrated that the materials were non-toxic to cells and also conducted mechanical tests to ensure that the scaffolds could recover their shape, geometry and pore size after compression and conducted tests that demonstrated that the scaffolds can fill an irregularly shaped alginate blank. gel that has been used as a soft tissue mimic.

Laboratory studies have shown that the scaffold is degraded by surface erosion into non-acidic products, meaning that the scaffold design allows for slow and continuous tissue infiltration. The results were confirmed in a mouse model that mimics implantation in adipose (fat) tissue. These studies showed adipocyte and fibroblast infiltration and vasculature at two months, and tissue disposition and the presence of macrophages indicating normal tissue recovery rather than a damaged, scarred, or inflammatory response.

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