Manufacture of Soft-hard Implants from Electrospun Filaments Embedded in 3D Printed Structures.
Alkaissy R., Richard M., Morris H., Snelling S., Pinchbeck H., Carr A., Mouthuy P-A.
Rotator cuff tendon tears are common injuries of the musculoskeletal system that often require surgical repair. However, re-tearing following repair is a significant clinical problem, with a failure rate of up to 40%, notably at the transition from bone to tendon. The development of biphasic materials consisting of soft and hard components, which can mimic this interface, is therefore promising. Here, we propose a simple manufacturing approach that combines electrospun filaments and 3D printing to achieve scaffolds made of a soft polydioxanone cuff embedded in a porous polycaprolactone block. The insertion area of the cuff was based on the supraspinatus tendon footprint and the size of the cuff was scaled up from 9 to 270 electrospun filaments to reach a clinically relevant strength of 227N on average. Our biological evaluation showed that the biphasic scaffold components were non-cytotoxic, and that tendon and bone cells could be grown on the cuff and block, respectively. Overall, these results indicate that combining electrospinning and 3D printing is a feasible and promising approach to create soft-to-hard biphasic scaffolds that could improve the outcomes of rotator cuff repair. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.