Manufacturing, characterization, and degradation of a poly(lactic acid) warp-knitted spacer fabric scaffold as a candidate for tissue engineering applications
Three-dimensional bioabsorbable textiles represent a novel technology for the manufacturing of tissue engineering scaffolds. In the present study, 3D bioabsorbable poly(lactic acid) (PLA) spacer fabric scaffolds are fabricated by warp-knitting and their potential for tissue engineering is explored in vitro. Changes in physical properties and mechanical performance with different heat setting treatments are assessed. To characterize the microenvironment experienced by cells in the scaffolds, yarn properties are investigated prior to, and during, hydrolytic degradation. The differences in yarn morphology, thermal properties, infrared spectra, and mechanical properties are investigated and monitored during temperature accelerated in vitro degradation tests in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) solution at 58 °C and pH 7.4 for 55 days. Yarn and textile cytocompatibility are tested to assess the effect of materials employed, manufacturing conditions, post processing and sterilization on cell viability, together with the cytocompatibility of the textile degradation products. Results show that the heat setting process can be used to modify scaffold properties, such as thickness, porosity, pore size and stiffness within the range useful for tissue regeneration. Scaffold degradation rate in physiological conditions is estimated by comparing yarn degradation data with PLA degradation data from literature. This will potentially allow the prediction of scaffold mechanical stability in the long term and thus its suitability for the remodelling of different tissues. Mouse calvaria preosteoblast MC3T3-E1 cells attachment and proliferation are observed on the scaffold over 12 days of in vitro culture by 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) fluorescent staining and DNA quantification. The present work shows the potential of spacer fabric scaffolds as a versatile and scalable scaffold fabrication technique, having the ability to create a microenvironment with appropriate physical, mechanical, and degradation properties for 3D tissue engineering. The high control and tunability of spacer fabric properties makes it a promising candidate for the regeneration of different tissues in patient-specific applications.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 31st Annual Conference of the European Society of Biomaterials