Combinatorial 3D Processing and Electrospinning Approaches to Scaffolds Engineering and Tissue Constructs
Ashok Vaseashta1,2,3, Didem Demir4, Muge Asik5, Burcu Sakim5, Nimet Bolgen5
1 - International Clean Water Institute, Manassas, VA USA
2 - Transylvania University of Brasov, Brasov, Romania
3 - Academy of Sciences of Moldova, Chisinau, Moldova
4 - Department of Chemistry and Chemical Process Technologies, Tarsus University, 33100, Mersin, Turkey
5 - Chemical Engineering Department, Mersin University, 33343, Mersin, Turkey
Abstract: Three-dimensional (3D) printing and nanotechnology are two advancing frontiers of science and technology that have recently been moving towards integration to leverage their individual advantages and achieve new favorable material characteristics and applications that will help in creating highly functional materials and devices. By adjusting processing parameters, variations of lightweight, adaptable, resilient, biodegradable, and highly multifunctional materials are produced as smart structures. However, one of the bottlenecks to smart-structure promulgation is the manufacturing methods which have become increasingly complex, outpacing traditional manufacturing methods. In addition, the traditional manufacturing methods present challenges in the integrated processing of heterogeneous materials, hence, the complete structure needs to be divided into multiple components and processed individually and separately. While there are certain restrictions on the minimum size features that can be accurately printed, most of the limitations of additive processing center around how to optimally position a print to reduce support dependency and the likelihood of print failure. This allows a large amount of design freedom and enables the creation of very complex geometries with relative ease. Electrospinning is a versatile, efficient, and inexpensive nanofibers processing technique that can be used to produce 1D fibrous materials or composites with a wide range of diameters (from nm to mm). With the recent advances in nanotechnology, new multifunctional materials are produced by combining nanomaterials with electrospun nanofibers. We demonstrate that nanofibers demonstrate sensitivity to chemical and biological agents and hence nanofibrous structures fabricated using electrospinning are excellent candidates for the fabrication of e-textiles, tactile membranes, and protective clothing due to their adsorptive, lightweight, and functionalization properties. By choosing certain combinations of high-performance polymers and nanomaterials, the newly developed composite materials have new and unique functional properties. Recent developments in electrospinning in conjunction with additive processing are used such as in intervertebral disc tissue engineering, smart scaffolds for abdominal walls, and bi-layer scaffolds for guided tissue regeneration. Although the investigation is in the preliminary stages, this new domain - such as 3D, and 4D printing materials and their impact on bone tissue engineering applications will have a special focus on cutting-edge comprehension in the field.