Melt electrowriting onto anatomically relevant biodegradable substrates: Resurfacing a diarthrodial joint

Quentin C.Peiffer, Mylènede Ruijter, Joostvan Duijn, DenisCrottet, ErnstDominic, JosMalda, MiguelCastilho

Published: 04/08/2020


Three-dimensional printed hydrogel constructs with well-organized melt electrowritten (MEW) fibre-reinforcing scaffolds have been demonstrated as a promising regenerative approach to treat small cartilage defects. Here, we investige how to translate the fabrication of small fibre-reinforced structures on flat surfaces to anatomically relevant structures. In particular, the accurate deposition of MEW-fibres onto curved surfaces of conductive and non-conductive regenerative biomaterials is studied. This study reveals that clinically relevant materials with low conductivities are compatible with resurfacing with organized MEW fibres. Importantly, accurate patterning on non-flat surfaces was successfully shown, provided that a constant electrical field strength and an electrical force normal to the substrate material is maintained. Furthermore, the application of resurfacing the geometry of the medial human femoral condyle is confirmed by the fabrication of a personalised osteochondral implant. The implant composed of an articular cartilage-resident chondroprogenitor cells (ACPCs)-laden hydrogel reinforced with a well-organized MEW scaffold retained its personalised shape, improved its compressive properties and supported neocartilage formation after 28 days in vitro culture. Overall, this study establishes the groundwork for translating MEW from planar and non-resorbable material substrates to anatomically relevant geometries and regenerative materials that the regenerative medicine field aims to create.

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