Title: Rapid prototyping and manufacturing for tissue engineering scaffolds

Authors: P.J.S. Bartolo, H. Almeida, T. Laoui

Addresses: Institute for Polymers and Composites, Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Technology and Management, Leiria Polytechnic Institute, Portugal. ' Institute for Polymers and Composites, Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Technology and Management, Leiria Polytechnic Institute, Portugal. ' Department of Manufacturing and Systems, School of Engineering and Built Environment, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK

Abstract: The controlled fabrication of the scaffold structures for tissue engineering is becoming increasingly important as a viable vehicle in future for regenerative medicine. This paper provides a brief description of the conventional techniques used to manufacture scaffolds and the associated limitations, particularly the lack of full control of the pore morphology and architecture as well as reproducibility. Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (RP&M) technology, based on layer-by-layer additive approach, offers a unique opportunity to overcome these limitations allowing the build of scaffold structures tailored to specific applications and ultimately individual patients. The main RP&M processes, namely stereolithography; laser sintering; extrusion and Three-Dimensional (3D) printing, are described in detail along the main research efforts deployed towards the fabrication of simple and complex 3D scaffolds.

Keywords: rapid prototyping; 3D scaffolds; tissue engineering; scaffold structures; regenerative medicine; rapid manufacturing; stereolithography; laser sintering; extrusion; 3D printing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCAT.2009.026664

International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 2009 Vol.36 No.1, pp.1 - 9

Published online: 22 Jun 2009 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article