Integrated design approaches for 3D printed tissue scaffolds: Review and outlook
Egan, Paul F.
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Emerging 3D printing technologies are enabling the fabrication of complex scaffold structures for diverse medical applications. 3D printing allows controlled material placement for configuring porous tissue scaffolds with tailored properties for desired mechanical stiffness, nutrient transport, and biological growth. However, tuning tissue scaffold functionality requires navigation of a complex design space with numerous trade-offs that require multidisciplinary assessment. Integrated design approaches that encourage iteration and consideration of diverse processes including design configuration, material selection, and simulation models provide a basis for improving design performance. In this review, recent advances in design, fabrication, and assessment of 3D printed tissue scaffolds are investigated with a focus on bone tissue engineering. Bone healing and fusion are examples that demonstrate the needs of integrated design approaches in leveraging new materials and 3D printing processes for specified clinical applications. Current challenges for integrated design are outlined and emphasize directions where new research may lead to significant improvements in personalized medicine and emerging areas in healthcare.