One of the greatest challenge of Tissue Engineering is its new approach to artificial bone substitutes which overcomes the limitations imposed to both autogenous and allogenous bone grafts. The scaffold (artificial bone support) plays a central role for the success of bone substitutes. Scaffolds for bone Tissue Engineering must provide temporary mechanical support and enhance tissue regeneration providing sufficient permeability for the cell migration and proliferation, as well as diffusion of nutrients and oxygen. Thus, one of the most determinant factors in the success of the scaffold is its microstructure: the strength to substitute bone as a structural material, the ability for cells to penetrate the porous media and for nutrients to diffuse, and the material biocompatibility and degradation rate. This project encompasses the following main tasks: (1) The development of computational tools for scaffold design with controlled microstructure properties; (2) the degradability model is developed to study the tissue regeneration process within the scaffold; (3) the prototyping and manufacturing of the designed scaffolds using Free-Form Fabrication (SFF) procedures; (4) The scaffolds are tested, for structural properties, permeability and tissue regeneration.
Partners: IPLeiria, FCT-UNL, Univ. Michigan
Funding organization: Science and Technology Foundation (PT)