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Composite three-dimensional woven scaffolds with interpenetrating network hydrogels to create functional synthetic articular cartilage.

Advanced functional materials (2014-03-01)
I-Chien Liao, Franklin T Moutos, Bradley T Estes, Xuanhe Zhao, Farshid Guilak
ABSTRACT

The development of synthetic biomaterials that possess mechanical properties that mimic those of native tissues remains an important challenge to the field of materials. In particular, articular cartilage is a complex nonlinear, viscoelastic, and anisotropic material that exhibits a very low coefficient of friction, allowing it to withstand millions of cycles of joint loading over decades of wear. Here we show that a three-dimensionally woven fiber scaffold that is infiltrated with an interpenetrating network hydrogel can provide a functional biomaterial that provides the load-bearing and tribological properties of native cartilage. An interpenetrating dual-network "tough-gel" consisting of alginate and polyacrylamide was infused into a porous three-dimensionally woven poly(ε-caprolactone) fiber scaffold, providing a versatile fiber-reinforced composite structure as a potential acellular or cell-based replacement for cartilage repair.