Sofia Melucci

Sofia Melucci

Visiting student, National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina

Fabrication and characterization of 3D-printed scaffolds reinforced with polycaprolactone/gelatin nanofibers for tissue engineering applications.


Supervisors in Erlangen: Irem Ünalan, Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini

Scaffolds for tissue engineering applications require not only a three dimensional structure with an adequate pore size to allow cell attachment and growth, but they should have also good mechanical properties to avoid failure during handling. The aim of this research is to produce a 3D structure characterized by nanofibers for use as an extracellular matrix-like tissue engineering scaffold. In this approach, a robust 3D polycaprolactone (PCL) skeleton will be printed using a standard 3D printer, whereas the nanofibrous component with high surface area for cell attachment will be deposited between the layers of the construct via an electrospinning process [1]. To evaluate the fabricated scaffolds, different tests will be performed, including Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), compression strength tests and, on selected scaffolds, in vitro tests will be performedd to study the initial cell adhesion and the degree of cell proliferation. This project is carried out in the framework of the I.DEAR “Materials” student exchange program between the Institute of Biomaterials, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and INTEMA, National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina, funded by the Argentine-German University Centre (CUAA-DAHZ). Supervisor at INTEMA is Prof. Gustavo Abraham.

[1] L. Liverani, et al., Simple fabrication technique for multilayered stratified composite scaffolds suitable for interface tissue engineering, Mater. Sci. Eng. A 557 (2012) 54-58.