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22 November 2011

Direct laser writing of 3D scaffolds for neural tissue engineering applications. Biofabrication 3, 045005 (2011).

Authors: V. Melissinaki, A. A. Gill, I. Ortega, M. Vamvakaki, A. Ranella, J. W. Haycock, C. Fotakis, M. Farsari, and F. Claeyssens


This study reports on the production of high-resolution 3D structures of polylactide-based materials via multi-photon polymerization and explores their use as neural tissue engineering scaffolds. To achieve this, a liquid polylactide resin was synthesized in house and rendered photocurable via attaching methacrylate groups to the hydroxyl end groups of the small molecular weight prepolymer. This resin cures easily under UV irradiation, using a mercury lamp, and under femtosecond IR irradiation. The results showed that the photocurable polylactide (PLA) resin can be readily structured via direct laser write (DLW) with a femtosecond Ti:sapphire laser and submicrometer structures can be produced. The maximum resolution achieved is 800 nm. Neuroblastoma cells were grown on thin films of the cured PLA material, and cell viability and proliferation assays revealed good biocompatibility of the material. Additionally, PC12 and NG108-15 neuroblastoma growth on bespoke scaffolds was studied in more detail to assess potential applications for neuronal implants of this material.