Fabrication of cell-laden three-dimensional alginate-scaffolds with an aerosol cross-linking process
A modified dispensing method for fabricating three-dimensional (3D) cell-laden alginate scaffolds is presented that utilizes aerosolized calcium chloride solutions for crosslinking. To evaluate the process, preosteoblasts (MC3T3-E1) mixed with 3.5 wt% alginate were fabricated into a 3D matrix (20 × 20 × 4.5 mm3). The fabricated cell-laden structure was highly porous and had uniformly designed pore size and shape. We compared two different dispensing nozzle sizes (310 and 610 μm) by observing the cell distribution in the struts and determining the cell viability within the scaffolds. The scaffold-embedded cells were 85% viable compared to the initial cell viability, and the cell distribution was homogeneous. This innovative cell dispensing technique is likely to be a promising fabrication tool for obtaining functional 3D scaffolds for tissue regeneration.