Optimized vascular network by stereolithography for tissue engineered skin
This paper demonstrates the essential and efficient methods to design, and fabricate optimal vascular network for tissue engineering structures based on their physiological conditions. Comprehensive physiological requirements in both micro and macro scales were considered in developing the optimisation design for complex vascular vessels. The optimised design was then manufactured by stereolithography process using materials that are biocompatible, elastic and surface bio-coatable. The materials are self-developed photocurable resin consist of BPA-ethoxylated-diacrylate, lauryl acrylate and isobornylacrylate with Irgacure® 184, the photoinitiator. The optimised vascular vessel offers many advantages: 1) it provides the maximum nutrient supply; 2) it minimises the recirculation areas and 3) it allows the wall shear stress on the vessel in a healthy range. The stereolithography manufactured vascular vessels were then embedded in the hydrogel seeded with cells. The results of in vitro studies show that the optimised vascular network has the lowest cell death rate compared with a pure hydrogel scaffold and a hydrogel scaffold embedded within a single tube in day seven. Consequently, these design and manufacture routes were shown to be viable for exploring and developing a high range complex and specialised artificial vascular networks.
Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, UK