In either case, once it is in place at the site of bone injury, adjacent bone cells will migrate to the scaffold and basically inhabit in its three-dimensional microstructure. These polymers are then biodegraded in a harmless way. In the end, whats left is pure natural bone.
ay Assoc.LuizBertassoni Led by the professor, scientists at Oregon University of health and science, New York University, and the University of Mathieu in Thailand took a different approach. They created tiny hollow 3D printed polymer blocks (also known as mini cages) that can be stacked together like Lego to build biological scaffold implants of the desired shape and size.
Making implants in this way is much faster and simpler than 3D printing a single custom size piece. In addition, different gel blocks can fill different types of growth factors. This means, for example, that an implant can add one type of growth factor to the outer surrounding block and another type of growth factor to the inner block to more accurately reproduce the structure of the natural bone.
3D printed Mini cages can fill ingredients exactly where you want, and then stack like Lego blocks, resulting in the required configuration and three-dimensional distribution of ingredients, bertassoni says. So this creates a guiding scaffold where cells can be guided precisely to the location of interest. This is very important because one of the big bottlenecks in this area is, for example, obtaining blood vessels in the core of regenerated tissue before more tissue is formed.
In fact, in laboratory tests in rats with bone injuries, it was found that the implants made of this block stimulated the growth of blood vessels about three times as much as the traditional biological scaffold materials.
The researchers hope that once the technology is further developed, it can also be used to regenerate soft tissue in injured areas, and even to produce complete organs for transplantation.
A paper on the study was published this week in the journal advanced materials.