DML - Design & Manufacturing Laboratory

 

Nanotechnology

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Tissue Engineering Scaffolds by Rapid Prototyping and Nanofiber Electrospinning

 

The objective of this project is research and development of tissue scaffolds with 3-D structure at the nanoscale. These scaffolds are used for cell seeding for the development of engineered tissue. For this purpose, electrospinning of nanofibers is used for fiber fabrication from biocompatible and bioconsumable polymers, at diameters around 50 nm-10 mm, in scaffolds with interstices of several microns, approaching the dimensions of the seeded cells and the respective intercellular networks. The challenge in electrospinning is to guide the nanofibers in predetermined positions with such dimensional accuracy of microns, that is needed for faithful representations of internal tissue anatomy, both in two and three dimensions. Currently and with proper facilities it is possible to fabricate 2D or very thin substrates to be used as myocardial drafts, angioplastics and other applications in which a dicsrete 3D structure is not necessary.
 

 

The aim of this project is to combine technologies from rapid prototyping and nanofiber electrospinning for precise deposition of fibers in predetermined structures, described by digital scaffold models derived from anatomic internal information of the tissue to be engineered. The target is the introduction, analysis and documentation of a new manufacturing technology for guided deposition of electrospun nanofibers through the CAD model in three dimensions. The application of this new technology aspires to the fabrication of biocompatible and bioconsumable fiber membranes with internal porosity for permeation by foodstuff and excreta of the cells, with the external morphology of the organs and internal anatomic/vascular structure, to be used as scaffolds for cell seeding and tissue engineering. Besides experimental implementation, the new technology will be simulated and analyzed by the finite element method for optimization and control of the scaffold deposition process. This project is in collaboration with the University of Cyprus (Prof. Doumanidis) and funded by an INTERREG IIIA grant.

 

Project web-site: http://dml.chania.teicrete.gr/nano/

 

For more information please contact: Dr. Eng. Maravelakis Emmanuel (project manager)

 
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