Advantages of 3-D Scaffolds
Compared to two-dimensional (2-D) scaffolds, cells growing on 3-D scaffolds have significantly more viability, increased extracellular matrix secretion, and longer proliferation periods, Dr. Liu says. Because the scaffolds resemble the cell growth environment of the human body, cells growing on them give more physiologically relevant results, he adds. The tiny connected pores allow nutrients and waste products to be efficiently obtained and eliminated. The scaffold materials are transparent, so cells can be viewed with an inverted light microscope and fluorescent microscopy.
The company offers two types of scaffolds made from either polystyrene, a polymer used in traditional cell culture plates, or PCL, a biodegradable polymer used in many FDA approved implants, drug delivery devices, and sutures. PCL is also widely used for tissue-engineering research involving bone/cartilage, tendon/ligament, liver, nerve, skin, and cardiovascular cells.
All scaffolds are made from animal-free materials, and no cytotoxic organic solvents such as chloroform are used in fabricating them. The 3-D precision microfabrication technology reportedly guarantees uniform pore size throughout a scaffold, ranging from 200 to 500 microns. 3D Biotek’s microfabrication technology insures the reproducibility of the porous structures from batch to batch, Dr. Liu explains. The company also offers services to customers who want to fabricate biomedical devices with controlled internal porous structures.