Yongxiang Luo, Associate Professor, Deputy Director of department, School of Biomedical Engineering, Health Science Center, Shenzhen University. Dr. Luo graduated his PhD from Technical University of Dresden (Germany). Dr. Luo’s research interests focuses on 3D bioprinting and tissue engineering, including 3D printing functional scaffolds for bone tissue engineering, 4D bioprinting of cell-laden construct and 3D printing of hollow fibers scaffolds for vascularization. He has now published more than 20 peer-reviewed journal articles (first author/corresponding author), including Advanced Science, Biofabrication, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces and Acta Biomaterialia.
3D printed hydrogel scaffolds with fully interconnected microchannel networks for tissue engineering vascularization
The advancement of scaffolds based tissue engineering requires the ability to facilitate new tissues ingrowth, as well as vascular networks formation in the entire scaffolds. The macro pores and interconnected microchannels in three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds are important architecture cures to support new tissues growth and vascularization. To date, the fabrication of hydrogel scaffold possessing both designed macro pores and fully interconnected microchannel (FIM) networks is still a challenge. Herein, we reported a facile method to effectively fabricate hydrogel scaffold containing designed macro pores and FIM networks by 3D printing and surface crosslinking. The surface of the printed scaffold is crosslinked, while the inner part of the filaments is still in uncrosslinked state, after soaking the scaffold in crosslinking solution for a certain time. Then, the FIM networks are generated by removing the uncrosslinked gels from the printed filaments. The created FIM scaffold shows improved mechanical properties and structural integrity after post treatment. The channel wall with barrier function endows the scaffold with the ability of fast perfusion of liquid in the microchannels. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells are well adhered on the inner surface of the microchannels with high cell viability. In vivo study shows the excellent performance to facilitate vessels formation not only in the interface zone between scaffolds and host tissue, but also in the center of the FIM scaffolds. Additionally, FIM scaffolds also demonstrate the capability to promote wound healing. In conclusion, the present study proposes a facile method to fabricate hydrogel scaffolds with both macro pores and FIM networks, and demonstrates their strong potential for tissue engineering application.