AccScience Publishing / IJB / Volume 9 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.18063/ijb.685
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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Design and fused deposition modeling of triply periodic minimal surface scaffolds with channels and hydrogel for breast reconstruction

Xiaolong Zhu1 Feng Chen1* Hong Cao2 Ling Li1 Ning He1 Xiaoxiao Han1,3*
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1 National Engineering Research Center for High-Efficiency Grinding, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, Hunan, China
2 Department of Breast and Thyroid Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Hengyang Medical School, University of South China, Hengyang 421001, Hunan, China
3 State Key Laboratory of Advanced Design and Manufacturing for Vehicle Body, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, Hunan, China
Submitted: 19 September 2022 | Accepted: 2 December 2022 | Published: 14 February 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Related to 3D printing technology and materials)
© 2023 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ )
Abstract

3D-printed scaffolds that forge a new path for regenerative medicine are widely used in breast reconstruction due to their personalized shape and adjustable mechanical properties. However, the elastic modulus of present breast scaffolds is significantly higher than that of native breast tissue, leading to insufficient stimulation for cell differentiation and tissue formation. In addition, the lack of a tissue-like environment results in breast scaffolds being difficult to promote cell growth. This paper presents a geometrically new scaffold, featuring a triply periodic minimal surface (TPMS) that ensures structural stability and multiple parallel channels that can modulate elastic modulus as required. The geometrical parameters for TPMS and parallel channels were optimized to obtain ideal elastic modulus and permeability through numerical simulations. The topologically optimized scaffold integrated with two types of structures was then fabricated using fused deposition modeling. Finally, the poly (ethylene glycol) diacrylate/gelatin methacrylate hydrogel loaded with human adipose-derived stem cells was incorporated into the scaffold by perfusion and ultraviolet curing for improvement of the cell growth environment. Compressive experiments were also performed to verify the mechanical performance of the scaffold, demonstrating high structural stability, appropriate tissue-like elastic modulus (0.2 – 0.83 MPa), and rebound capability (80% of the original height). In addition, the scaffold exhibited a wide energy absorption window, offering reliable load buffering capability. The biocompatibility was also confirmed by cell live/dead staining assay.

Keywords
Triply periodic minimal surface
Hydrogel
Scaffold
Fused deposition modeling
Breast reconstruction
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International Journal of Bioprinting, Electronic ISSN: 2424-8002 Print ISSN: 2424-7723, Published by AccScience Publishing