Advances in scaffold design and fabrication technology have brought the tissue engineering field stepping into a new era. Conventional techniques used to develop scaffolds inherit limitations, such as lack of control over the pore morphology and architecture as well as reproducibility. Rapid prototyping (RP) technology, a layer-by-layer additive approach offers a unique opportunity to build complex 3D architectures overcoming those limitations that could ultimately be tailored to cater for patient-specific applications. Using RP methods, researchers have been able to customize scaffolds to mimic the biomechanical properties (in terms of structural integrity, strength, and microenvironment) of the organ or tissue to be repaired/replaced quite closely. This article provides intensive description on various extrusion based scaffold fabrication techniques and review their potential utility for TE applications. The extrusion-based technique extrudes the molten polymer as a thin filament through a nozzle onto a platform layer-by-layer and thus building 3D scaffold. The technique allows full control over pore architecture and dimension in the x- and y- planes. However, the pore height in z-direction is predetermined by the extruding nozzle diameter rather than the technique itself. This review attempts to assess the current state and future prospects of this technology.
A statistical approach with D-optimal design was used to optimize the process parameters for polycaprolactone (PCL) synthesis. The variables selected were temperature (50°C-110°C), time (1-7 h), mixing speed (50-500 rpm) and monomer/solvent ratio (1:1-1:6). Molecular weight was chosen as response and was determined using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight (MALDI TOF). Using the D-optimal method in design of experiments, the interactions between parameters and responses were analysed and validated. The results show a good agreement with a minimum error between the actual and predicted values.
The interaction between mefloquine (MEF), the antimalarial drug, and human serum albumin (HSA), the main carrier protein in blood circulation, was explored using fluorescence, absorption, and circular dichroism spectroscopic techniques. Quenching of HSA fluorescence with MEF was characterized as static quenching and thus confirmed the complex formation between MEF and HSA. Association constant values for MEF-HSA interaction were found to fall within the range of 3.79-5.73 × 104 M-1 at various temperatures (288, 298, and 308 K), which revealed moderate binding affinity. Hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions were predicted to connect MEF and HSA together in the MEF-HSA complex, as deduced from the thermodynamic data (ΔS = +133.52 J mol-1 K-1 and ΔH = +13.09 kJ mol-1 ) of the binding reaction and molecular docking analysis. Three-dimensional fluorescence spectral analysis pointed out alterations in the microenvironment around aromatic amino acid (tryptophan and tyrosine) residues of HSA consequent to the addition of MEF. Circular dichroic spectra of HSA in the wavelength ranges of 200-250 and 250-300 nm hinted smaller changes in the protein's secondary and tertiary structures, respectively, induced by MEF binding. Noncovalent conjugation of MEF to HSA bettered protein thermostability. Site marker competitive drug displacement results suggested HSA Sudlow's site I as the MEF binding site, which was also supported by molecular docking analysis.