Interface tissue engineering is a recently emerged approach that aims at a full reconstruction of the gradients present in the body. Hard-soft tissue interfaces, such as bone-tendon, bone-ligament, and bone-cartilage junctions, are characterized by complex architectures, with a gradual transition of mechanical, biological, and chemical properties. Regeneration of these highly organized structures is extremely difficult and there is currently a lack of material systems that can closely mimic native gradients.
In this project, we will work on 3D bioprinting for the construction of complex and hierarchical geometries with high precision. The novel technology of melt electrowriting (MEW), combined with extrusion bioprinting will be employed. MEW printed scaffolds with different, precisely controlled topological designs will be integrated with a 3D printed hydrogel matrix to deliver biologically active cues and cells into the scaffolds in a well-controlled manner. In that way, the biological gradient will be introduced to more closely mimic native structures, support cell functionality, and tissue formation.
This project will lead to the development of next-generation multifactorial, bio-instructive, customizable mimics of hard-soft tissue interfaces, ultimately contributing to the improvement of clinical outcomes of junction zone regeneration.
NCN (OPUS grant no. 2020/37/B/ST5/00743)