Rapid Prototyping of Custom-Made Bone-Forming Tissue Engineering Constructs

In cranio-Maxillofacial surgery, large blow-out orbital floor fractures have still mitigating outcomes and improved scaffold solution are needed. The reconstruction of large bone defects in the proximal femur or the proximal tibia in orthopaedic surgery is also an enormous challenge due to the requirements for both complex shape and partial load bearing ability.

This is the goal of this European and Chinese consortium to apply technologies to create custom-made tissue engineered constructs made of resorbable polymer (PTMC or PLGA) and calcium phosphate ceramic composites specifically designed by integrating 1) imaging and information technologies, 2) biomaterials and process engineering, and 3) biological and biomedical engineering for novel and truly translational bone repair solutions.

Advanced solid free form fabrication technologies; precise stereolithography and low melt temperature rapid prototyping will provide the necessary control to create such innovative high resolution medical devices.

The use of Chinese Medicine extract, bone anabolic Icaritin which has shown to promote osteogenic differentiation of stem cells and enhance bone healing in vivo, will be a safe and technologically relevant alternative to the intensely debated growth factors. These challenges will advantageously be confronted by a strong Eastern-Western biomaterials collaborative project. The synergistic collaboration envisioned will allow; 1) comparison and exchange of advanced and commercially relevant biomaterials developed, 2) parallel development of two precise technologies, stereolithography and low temperature rapid prototyping allowing for preparation of custom-made composite scaffolds loaded with unique biologics effectors.