Changing the diameter of 3D printed tissue engineering scaffolds made via melt electrospinning writing
June 5-9, 2017
Introduction. Due to the structural complexity of the natural tissues, a production of anatomically accurate three-dimensional (3D) structures is a major challenge in tissue engineering. Previously a technology termed melt electrospinning writing (MEW), produced 3D constructs out of filaments sized from 0.8 μm up to 140 μm [1-3]. Here the fiber diameter control during MEW printing was investigated. Methods: Poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) fibers were printed with a custom-built MEW device  at 73 ± 1 °C temperature, 8.5 kV voltage difference and 6 mm distance between the nozzle and the collector. The polymer flowrate was controlled by the air pressure variation between 0.5 and 4 bar. For the different fiber stretching, collector speed was varied from 300 to 10000 mm/min. Results. Fiber diameter could be changed from 2.02±0.57 μm to 49.93±2.61 μm (Figure 1A). Multi-modal 3D printed structures, produced within a single print are shown in Figure 1B-D. Figure 1B demonstrates a grid pattern of 3 μm fibers overlaid with 30 μm fibers. Figure 1C and 1D shows that multidiameter fibers can be precisely stacked and rotated around each other. As an example of a 3D-printed construct, a tapered frame for spheroid capture is shown in Figure 1E; due to the different diameters, this construct has a larger pore size at the top compared to the bottom.
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Andrei Hrynevich, P. D. Dalton, J. Groll, Jodie N. Haigh, G. Hochleitner, and B. Şen Elçi, "Changing the diameter of 3D printed tissue engineering scaffolds made via melt electrospinning writing" in "Biofabrication for Hierarchical in Vitro Tissue Models", Jürgen Groll (University of Würzburg, Germany) Jos Malda (University Medical Centre Utrecht, The Netherlands) Eds, ECI Symposium Series, (2017). http://dc.engconfintl.org/biofab_tissue_model/10