Iranian researchers from Sharif University of Technology, in association with their colleagues from Max Planck Institute in Germany, have produced nanocomposite scaffolds for tissue engineering with controlled pores by using an indirect 3D printing method.

Cells are naturally surrounded by extracellular matrix (ECM). The matrix supports and guides cellular behavior and its vital functions – including migration, adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation – with the help of chemical and physical signals.

Designing internal pores and controlling external dimensions of the scaffold with a controlled structure is one of the most important parameters in the performance of tissue engineering scaffolds used in the treatment of bone damage.

 It is used to guide cellular behavior in interaction with ECM.

Using 3D printing, Iranian and German researchers have produced these nanocomposite scaffolds with controlled pore structures.

The pores contained various nanoparticles such as titanium dioxide and bioactive glass in micrometric and nanometric size.

Growth kinetics of bone tissue were investigated on the product through in-vitro tests. To that end, the sacrificial cast was made with three dimensional structures and its surface was coated with paraffin.

Results showed the effective interface of particles and cells increases as nanoparticles are added to the polymeric bed because of the high tendency of nanoparticles to accumulate in the surface.

Moreover, the nanoparticles affect cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation by creating nanotopography, increasing coarseness and surface roughness.

Results of the research were published in the October 10, 2013 edition of  the "Journal of Biomedical Materials Research."