Shaping and properties of thermoplastic scaffolds in tissue regeneration: The effect of thermal history on polymer crystallization, surface characteristics and cell fate

A.R. Calore, V. Srinivas, S. Anand, A. Albillos-Sanchez, S.F.S.P. Looijmans, L.C.A. van Breemen, C. Mota, K. Bernaerts, J.A.W. Harings*, L. Moroni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Thermoplastic semi-crystalline polymers are excellent candidates for tissue engineering scaffolds thanks to facile processing and tunable properties, employed in melt-based additive manufacturing. Control of crystallization and ultimate crystallinity during processing affect properties like surface stiffness and roughness. These in turn influence cell attachment, proliferation and differentiation. Surface stiffness and roughness are intertwined via crystallinity, but never studied independently. The targeted stiffness range is besides difficult to realize for a single thermoplastic. Via correlation of thermal history, crystallization and ultimate crystallinity of vitamin E plasticized poly(lactide), surface stiffness and roughness are decoupled, disclosing a range of surface mechanics of biological interest. In osteogenic environment, human mesenchymal stromal cells were more responsive to surface roughness than to surface stiffness. Cells were particularly influenced by overall crystal size distribution, not by average roughness. Absence of mold-imposed boundary constrains makes additive manufacturing ideal to spatially control crystallization and henceforward surface roughness of semi-crystalline thermoplastics. Graphic abstract
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3914-3935
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Volume36
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Crystalline
  • Surface chemistry
  • Surface topography
  • 3D printing
  • Tissue engineering
  • MESENCHYMAL STEM-CELLS
  • MATRIX STIFFNESS
  • MOLECULAR-WEIGHT
  • DIFFERENTIATION
  • CRYSTALLINITY
  • ROUGHNESS
  • FUNCTIONALIZATION
  • PROLIFERATION
  • FABRICATION
  • ELASTICITY

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