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Title: Stiffness memory nanohybrid scaffolds generated by indirect 3D printing for biologically responsive soft implants
Authors: Wu, L
Virdee, J
Maughan, E
Darbyshire, A
Jell, G
Loizidou, M
Emberton, M
Butler, P
Howkins, A
Reynolds, A
Boyd, IW
Birchall, M
Song, W
Keywords: Stiffness memory;3D-TIPS;3D printing;Phase separation;Polyurethane nanohybrid;Soft implants
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Acta Biomaterialia, 2018, 80 pp. 188 - 202
Abstract: Cell and tissue stiffness is an important biomechanical signalling parameter for dynamic biological pro-cesses; responsive polymeric materials conferring responsive functionality are therefore appealing forin vivoimplants. We have developed thermoresponsive poly(urea-urethane) nanohybrid scaffolds with‘stiffness memory’ through a versatile 3D printing-guided thermally induced phase separation (3D-TIPS) technique. 3D-TIPS, a combination of 3D printing with phase separation, allows uniform phase-separation and phase transition of the polymer solution at a large interface of network within the printedsacrificial preform, leading to the creation of full-scale scaffolds with bespoke anatomical complex geom-etry. A wide range of hyperelastic mechanical properties of the soft elastomer scaffolds with intercon-nected pores at multi-scale, controlled porosity and crystallinity have been manufactured, notpreviously achievable via direct printing techniques or phase-separation alone. Semi-crystalline poly-meric reverse self-assembly to a ground-stated quasi-random nanophase structure, throughout a hierar-chical structure of internal pores, contributes to gradual stiffness relaxation duringin vitrocell culturewith minimal changes to shape. This ‘stiffness memory’ provides initial mechanical support to surround-ing tissues before gradually softening to a better mechanical match, raising hopes for personalized andbiologically responsive soft tissue implants which promote human fibroblast cells growth as modeland potential scaffold tissue integration.
ISSN: 1742-7061
Appears in Collections:The Experimental Techniques Centre

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