The development of silk fibroin scaffolds using an indirect rapid prototyping approach : morphological analysis and cell growth monitoring by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography
Liu, M. J. J.
Chou, Siaw Meng
Chua, C. K.
Tay, B. C. M.
Ng, B. K.
Date of Issue2011
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
To date, naturally derived biomaterials are rarely used in advanced tissue engineering (TE) methods despite their superior biocompatibility. This is because these native materials, which consist mainly of proteins and polysaccharides, do not possess the ability to withstand harsh processing conditions. Unlike synthetic polymers, natural materials degrade and decompose rapidly in the presence of chemical solvents and high temperature, respectively. Thus, the fabrication of tissue scaffolds using natural biomaterials is often carried out using conventional techniques, where the efficiency in mass transport of nutrients and removal of waste products within the construct is compromised. The present study identified silk fibroin (SF) protein as a suitable material for the application of rapid prototyping (RP) or additive manufacturing (AM) technology. Using the indirect RP method, via the use of a mould, SF tissue scaffolds with both macro- and micro-morphological features can be produced and qualitatively examined by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). The advanced imaging technique showed the ability to differentiate the cells and SF material by producing high contrasting images, therefore suggesting the method as a feasible alternative to the histological analysis of cell growth within tissue scaffolds.
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Medical engineering & physics