The structures and properties of polymeric scaffolds can strongly influence cell response and subsequent tissue generation. Structural parameters such as porosity, pore size, pore geometry, interconnectivity, and wall thickness will effect scaffold mechanical properties, permeability, and degradation, as well as cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation. In this work, we will (1) develop methods for fabricating porous scaffolds where structural parameters can be systematically varied in a gradient fashion and (2) design well-defined structures to tailor the scaffold properties. Scaffolds will be screened with respect to their ability to support tissue generation. In addition, the effect of the local environment on cell differentiation and de-differentiation will be investigated. These techniques will provide the tissue engineering community with new tools to screen the effects of scaffold pore structure on tissue generation.
Polymers; Scaffolds; Tissue engineering; Biomaterials; Porosity; Cell differentiation; Cell response;