Influence of internal pore architecture on biological and mechanical properties of three-dimensional fiber deposited scaffolds for bone regeneration

Barbara Ostrowska, Andrea Di Luca, Lorenzo Moroni, Wojciech Swieszkowski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Fused deposition modeling has been used to fabricate three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds for tissue engineering applications, because it allows to tailor their pore network. Despite the proven flexibility in doing so, a limited amount of studies have been performed to evaluate whether specific pore shapes have an influence on cell activity and tissue formation. Our study aimed at investigating the influence of internal pore architecture on the biological and mechanical properties of 3D scaffolds seeded with mesenchymal stromal cells. Polycaprolactone scaffolds with six different geometries were fabricated. The 3D samples were manufactured with different lay-down pattern of the fibers by varying the layer deposition angle from 0 degrees/15 degrees/30 degrees, to 0 degrees/30 degrees/60 degrees, 0 degrees/45 degrees/90 degrees, 0 degrees/60 degrees/120 degrees, 0 degrees/75 degrees/150 degrees, and 0 degrees/90 degrees/180 degrees. The scaffolds were investigated by scanning electron microscopy and micro computed tomographical analysis and displayed a fully interconnected pore network. Cell proliferation and differentiation toward the osteogenic lineage were evaluated by DNA, alkaline phosphatase activity, and polymerase chain reaction. The obtained scaffolds had structures with open porosity (50%-60%) and interconnected pores ranging from 380 to 400 mu m. Changing the angle deposition affected significantly the mechanical properties of the scaffolds. With increasing the angle deposition between successive layers, the elastic modulus increased as well. Cellular studies also showed influence of the internal architecture on cell adhesion and proliferation within the 3D construct, yet limited influence on cell differentiation was observed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1001
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • fused deposition modeling
  • polycaprolactone
  • scaffolds
  • tissue engineering
  • mesenchymal stromal cells
  • mechanical properties


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