A multiangular approach towards biofabrication of an auricular cartilage implant
June 5-9, 2017
Cartilage tissue engineering opens new avenues for reconstruction of auricular deformities. Nevertheless, a number of challenges hinder the development of an auricular cartilage implant, including an appropriate cell source, nutrient limitation in large non-vascularized constructs, and maintenance of the complex auricular shape. This work uses a multiangular approach including biofabrication strategies to address these challenges. Firstly, we investigated the regenerative potential of novel auricular cartilage progenitor cells in 3D printable hydrogels. Furthermore, we proposed a modular construct to decrease the diffusion distance throughout the implant. In addition, the mechanical integrity of the developing construct is warranted by a polymer fiber-reinforced network integrated into a cell-laden hydrogel. Equine auricular cartilage progenitor cells (AuCPC) were encapsulated in 10% gelatin methacrylate (gelMA) hydrogel cylinders and chondrogenically differentiated up to 56 days in vitro. The neocartilage produced by AuCPC displayed GAG/DNA composition and mechanical integrity comparable to auricular chondrocytes (AuCH), and the production of cartilage-like extracellular matrix was confirmed by histology. Polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds for custom-designed modular parts of the auricle were fabricated using a Bioscaffolder and combined with gelMA to form hybrid constructs. Light microscopy confirmed homogenous distribution of the hydrogel through the reinforcing network, and the assembled modules displayed a convincing aesthetical appearance under a rubber skin. Bioprinted cell-laden constructs demonstrated homogenous cell distribution and good cell viability after printing up to 7 days of in vitro culture. These results indicate that a multi-faceted approach in creating large tissue constructs is a promising method that warrants further investigation.
Iris Otto, Jos Malda, Riccardo Levato, Moshe Kon, and Corstiaan Breugem, "A multiangular approach towards biofabrication of an auricular cartilage implant" 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). https://dc.engconfintl.org/biofab_tissue_model/9