Bioactive Materials (2021-06-01)

3D bioprinting of a biomimetic meniscal scaffold for application in tissue engineering

  • Zhou Jian,
  • Tian Zhuang,
  • Tian Qinyu,
  • Peng Liqing,
  • Li Kun,
  • Luo Xujiang,
  • Wang Diaodiao,
  • Yang Zhen,
  • Jiang Shuangpeng,
  • Sui Xiang,
  • Huang Jingxiang,
  • Liu Shuyun,
  • Hao Libo,
  • Tang Peifu,
  • Yao Qi,
  • Guo Quanyi

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 6, no. 6
pp. 1711 – 1726


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Appropriate biomimetic scaffolds created via 3D bioprinting are promising methods for treating damaged menisci. However, given the unique anatomical structure and complex stress environment of the meniscus, many studies have adopted various techniques to take full advantage of different materials, such as the printing combined with infusion, or electrospining, to chase the biomimetic meniscus, which makes the process complicated to some extent. Some researchers have tried to tackle the challenges only by 3D biopringting, while its alternative materials and models have been constrained. In this study, based on a multilayer biomimetic strategy, we optimized the preparation of meniscus-derived bioink, gelatin methacrylate (GelMA)/meniscal extracellular matrix (MECM), to take printability and cytocompatibility into account together. Subsequently, a customized 3D bioprinting system featuring a dual nozzle + multitemperature printing was used to integrate the advantages of polycaprolactone (PCL) and meniscal fibrocartilage chondrocytes (MFCs)-laden GelMA/MECM bioink to complete the biomimetic meniscal scaffold, which had the best biomimetic features in terms of morphology and components. Furthermore, cell viability, mechanics, biodegradation and tissue formation in vivo were performed to ensure that the scaffold had sufficient feasibility and functionality, thereby providing a reliable basis for its application in tissue engineering.