A 4D printed self-assembling PEGDA microscaffold fabricated by digital light processing for arthroscopic articular cartilage tissue engineering

Yunjie Hao, Chuanyung Wu, Yuchuan Su, Jude Curran, James R. Henstock*, Fangang Tseng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Articular cartilage in synovial joints such as the knee has limited capability to regenerate independently, and most clinical options for focal cartilage repair merely delay total joint replacement. Tissue engineering presents a repair strategy in which an injectable cell-laden scaffold material is used to reconstruct the joint in situ through mechanical stabilisation and cell-mediated regeneration. In this study, we designed and 3D-printed millimetre-scale micro-patterned PEGDA biomaterial microscaffolds which self-assemble through tessellation at a scale relevant for applications in osteochondral cartilage reconstruction. Using simulated chondral lesions in an in vitro model, a series of scaffold designs and viscous delivery solutions were assessed. Hexagonal microscaffolds (750 μm x 300 μm) demonstrated the best coverage of a model cartilage lesion (at 73.3%) when injected with a 1% methyl cellulose solution. When chondrocytes were introduced to the biomaterial via a collagen hydrogel, they successfully engrafted with the printed microscaffolds and survived for at least 14 days in vitro, showing the feasibility of reconstructing stratified cartilaginous tissue using this strategy. Our study demonstrates a promising application of this 4D-printed injectable technique for future clinical applications in osteochondral tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalProgress in Additive Manufacturing
Issue number1
Early online date9 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes

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