Piezoelectricity is well known as the key factor in bone regeneration. However, current additively manufactured scaffolds mainly focus on reconstructing the bionic topological structure and mechanical microenvironment, while the important electrical microenvironment (EM) of bone regeneration is neglected. .
The research, published in International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing demonstrated the great potential of 3D/4D printing of bio-piezoelectric scaffolds for next-generation bone tissue engineering.
There is a significant gap between the capabilities of current 3D/4D printing techniques and the requirements of the clinical application of bio-piezoelectric scaffolds. Its development requires a combined effort of multidisciplinary studies including materials science, mechanical engineering, and bioengineering. Its widespread adoption should also draw inspiration from certain technologies such as intelligent manufacturing, bionic medicine, and machine learning.
“In principle, this opens up the design and manufacture of a smart biological piezoelectric scaffold that promotes bone healing by imitating the vital electrical microenvironment of the tissue,” said Annan Chen, a postdoctoral fellow at City University. of Hong Kong and the first author of the study. .
“Basically, it offers new insight into a potential breakthrough in building smart scaffolds for next-generation bone tissue engineering,” said Prof. Chunze Yan, a professor at Huazhong University of Science Technology, and Prof. Jian Lu, a Chair professor at the City University of Hong Kong.
This piezoelectricity is manifested in human bones, which produce positive and negative charges when subjected to compression or tension. For example, the human tibia generates a piezoelectric potential of ~300 μV during walking. Therefore, piezoelectric materials show unique advantages in simulating EM in bone tissues, which can improve cell metabolism and new bone formation.
The surface charges of piezoelectric materials can attract ions to promote cell adhesion through ion or charge interaction, as well as activate growth factor expression to promote cell proliferation and osteogenic differentiation. .
Additive-manufactured bio-piezoelectric scaffolds can regenerate the desired tissue EM through a non-invasive ultrasonic stimulation. This time-dependent functional-displacement behavior of 3D structures when exposed to an external stimulus, is also defined as four-dimensional (4D) printing. These new 4D functionality-shifting bio-piezoelectric scaffolds can provide a time-dependent programmable electrophysiological microenvironment in response to external stimuli for tissue regeneration.
Chen began experimenting with some lead-free biological piezoelectric materials that had been discovered years ago, but largely ignored. He focuses on material-topography-biofunctionality intergated 3D/4D printing of bio-piezoelectric materials for advanced biological applications.
To the surprise of scientists, bio-piezoelectric materials show excellent processability and biocompatibility. In addition, they are multicellular inducible. “We found that their electrical microenvironment can induce bone cell differentiation, promote vascular cell recruitment and nerve cell repair,” Chen said. That shows a lot of potential for clinical applications.
But for clinical medicine, the most amazing thing is that the reconstitution strategy of the bio-piezoelectric scaffold is minimally invasive or non-invasive. “With programmable ultrasound or magnetic treatment as a remote mechanical stimulus, on-demand in vivo electrical stimulation with an adjustable timeline, duration, and strength can be delivered,” Yan said.
Chen, Yan, Lu, and their lab are working with other scientists around the university to try to combine the advantages of many disciplines to develop 3D/4D smart piezoelectric biological scaffolds in many medical applications. “We conducted cooperative research with experts in orthopedics, stomatology, oncology and other fields, and achieved the expected research results,” said Chen.
Over the years, 3D/4D printing technology has many advantages over traditional production techniques. Although there is still a long way to go from the bench to the bedside, the team expressed optimism about the future of 3D / 4D printing. “The 3D / 4D printing of bio-piezoelectric scaffolds perfectly combines the benefits of many disciplines such as materials science, mechanical engineering, and bioengineering, its great development requires a multidisciplinary joint effort ,” said Professor Lu.
“With the collaborative efforts of multidisciplinary studies, 3D/4D printing is expected to soon reach its full potential in the production of smart bio-piezoelectric scaffolds for next-generation tissue engineering. as intelligent manufacturing, bionic medicine, and machine learning, to further advance the clinical application of this technology.”
Annan Chen et al, 3D/4D printed bio-piezoelectric smart scaffolds for next-generation bone tissue engineering, International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing (2023). DOI: 10.1088/2631-7990/acd88f
Presented by the International Journal of Extreme Manufacturing
Citation: 3D/4D printed bio-piezoelectric scaffolds show potential in bone tissue engineering (2023, July 19) retrieved 19 July 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07-3d4d-bio- piezoelectric-scaffolds-potential- bone.html
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