John Garner

PLGA from PolySciTech used in development of 3D printed cartilage scaffold for tissue engineering

Blog Post created by John Garner on May 1, 2018

Guo tissue engineering scaffold PLGA 3D printing PolySciTech.jpg

Tissue engineering is a process by which cells and cell-growth scaffolds are emplaced in a patient where there is damage to the native tissue. Cells must have a surface to grow on so one of the most critical components of any tissue engineering system is a substrate/structure which the cells can grow on and interact with for successfully replacing the original tissue. This is not a trivial process, as most tissues are not uniform and so the interaction between the cells and the substrate is critical. Recently, researchers at the University of Maryland used PLGA (PolyVivo AP024) from PolySciTech ( to generate 3D printed scaffolds and tested these for their cell-interaction capabilities as well as their ability to grow heterogenous tissues. This research holds promise for improving the development of tissue scaffolds to treat a wide range of injuries and disease states. Read more: Guo, Ting, Julia P. Ringel, Casey G. Lim, Laura G. Bracaglia, Maeesha Noshin, Hannah B. Baker, Douglas A. Powell, and John P. Fisher. "3D Extrusion Printing Induces Polymer Molecule Alignment and Cell Organization within Engineered Cartilage." Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A (2018).


“Abstract: Proper cell–material interactions are critical to remain cell function and thus successful tissue regeneration. Many fabrication processes have been developed to create microenvironments to control cell attachment and organization on a threedimensional (3D) scaffold. However, these approaches often involve heavy engineering and only the surface layer can be patterned. We found that 3D extrusion based printing at high temperature and pressure will result an aligned effect on the polymer molecules, and this molecular arrangement will further induce the cell alignment and different differentiation capacities. In particular, articular cartilage tissue is known to have zonal collagen fiber and cell orientation to support different functions, where collagen fibers and chondrocytes align parallel, randomly, and perpendicular, respectively, to the surface of the joint. Therefore, cell alignment was evaluated in a cartilage model in this study. We used small angle Xray scattering analysis to substantiate the polymer molecule alignment phenomenon. The cellular response was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. Seeded mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) showed different morphology and orientation on scaffolds, as a combined result of polymer molecule alignment and printed scaffold patterns. Gene expression results showed improved superficial zonal chondrogenic marker expression in parallelaligned group. The cell alignment was successfully maintained in the animal model after 7 days with distinct MSC morphology between the casted and parallel printed scaffolds. This 3D printing induced polymer and cell alignment will have a significant impact on developing scaffold with controlled cell–material interactions for complex tissue engineering while avoiding complicated surface treatment, and therefore provides new concept for effective tissue repairing in future clinical applications.”


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