Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics Research Group

Comunication - Oral

Novel 3D Architectures Based on Knitting Technologies for Engineering Biological Tissues


Textile-based technologies are considered as potential routes for the production of 3D
porous architectures for tissue engineering applications. We describe the use of two
polymers, namely polybutylene succinate (PBS) and silk fibroin (SF) to produce fibre-based
finely tuned porous architectures by weft and warp knitting. PBS is here originally proposed
as a viable extruded multifilament fibre to be processed by a textile-based technology. A
comparative study is established using a SF fibre with similar linear density. The obtained
knitted constructs are described in terms of their morphology, mechanical properties,
swelling ability, degradation behaviour and cytotoxicity. The presented fibres allow for the
processing of a very reproducible intra-architectural scaffold geometry, that is fully
interconnected, and thus providing a high surface area for cell attachment and tissue
ingrowth. Each type of polymer fibres can allow for the generation of constructs with distinct
characteristics in terms of the surface physicochemistry, mechanical performance and
degradation capability, which has an impact on the resulting cell behaviour at the surface of
the respective biotextiles. Preliminary cytotoxicity screening shows that both materials can
support cell adhesion and proliferation. Furthermore, different surface modifications were
performed (acid/alkaline treatment, UV radiation and plasma) for modulating cell behavior.
Human Adipose-derived Stem Cells (hASCs) became an emerging possibility for tissue
replacement therapies. The potential of recently the developed silk-based biotextile
structures to promote hASCs adhesion, proliferation and differentiation is also evaluated.
These results constitute a first validation step of the two biotextiles as viable matrices for TE
prior to the development of more complex systems. Given the processing efficacy and
versatility of the knitting technology and the interesting structural and surface properties of
the proposed polymer fibres, it is foreseen that our developed systems can be attractive for
the functional engineering of tissues such as bone, skin, ligaments or cartilage.

Human adipose-derived stem cells, PBS, silk, Surface modifications, Textile-based technologies, Tissue engineering
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