MuCell molding shows promise for implantable scaffolds


In a sign of the times, two different papers at ANTEC last month explored the potential of improving manufacturing processes for plastic scaffolds used in tissue engineering—the synthetic production of new human organs.

One paper looked at use of injection molding microcellular foam, or MuCell, and the other looked at thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) because of its value in producing highly porous scaffolds with interconnected structures.

The purpose of the bioresorbale plastic scaffolds, first studied and reported by MIT Professor Robert Langer in 1993, is to provide a structure for stem cells as they grow into the shape of a windpipe, or kidney, or some other organ.

"Microcellular injection molding is a relatively new method which is organic-solvent free and has the potential to mass produce tissue scaffolds," wrote four authors representing a collaboration from the National Engineer Research Center of Novel Equipment for Polymer Processing at the South China University of Technology (Guangzhou, China); the Polymer Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI) and the Department of Biology at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (River Falls, WI).
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