Fabrication of tissue engineering scaffolds using stereolithography

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Comeau, Benita M.
Henderson, Clifford L.
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Fabrication of Tissue Engineering Scaffolds Using Stereolithography Benita M. Comeau 226 Pages Directed by Dr. Clifford L. Henderson New methods and materials for the fabrication of hierarchically structured, 3D tissue scaffolds using stereolithography (SL) are presented. The ability to chemically modify selected areas on a scaffold is one way to direct cell growth in deliberate patterns; which is necessary for the engineering of complex, functioning tissues. SL will allow for the building of complex 3D structures with well defined geometries, and a second level of order is created by subsequent modification of chemical groups via catalyzing a de-protection event through exposure to another wavelength of light. The investigated system utilizes an acid-catalyzed de-protection event to change the surface chemistry of an SL-made polymer, analogous to conventional chemically amplified photoresists. The chemical modification alters the surface energy, affecting how proteins interact with the material. This allows selective areas to be more favorable towards cell adhesion. The results of this work include the identification of cytocompatible photo-acid generators that are necessary for the acid-catalyzed de-protection, the demonstration that traditional photolithographic materials may be used for cell patterning, quartz crystal microbalance studies which illuminate why these patterning methods work, the design and performance of a mirror array based stereolithographic apparatus capable of multi-wavelength exposures, and the synthesis and formulation of a novel stereolithographic resin for use in this system. The findings suggest that this system has great potential for use in cell and tissue studies, and possibilities for future use and research are discussed.
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