Fabrication of 3D Printed Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering: Understanding the Mechanical Stability, Degradation Mechanisms and Bio-compatibility.

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Ashesi University
Diabetes mellitus, also known as diabetes has on major effect on its patients. This is the effect of impaired wound healing. Patients thus get minor wounds such as small cuts which become non-healing and are liable to get infected. Severe cases of such occasions lead to amputations. A solution to this problem is tissue regeneration with the help of scaffolds. These scaffolds are made of biopolymers and promote cell adhesion, regeneration and minimal diffusional constraints. Computer Aided Design (CAD) software (SolidWorks), was used to design models of scaffolds.Three dimensional (3D) scaffolds were then 3D printed. Scaffolds were also casted using PLA and a mixture of PLA and PEG. The models along with its samples undergo tensile, stiffness and mass degradation tests to gain insight on whether this model is applicable.Computer simulations were used to evaluate the tensile properties under real world conditions. Furthermore, a universal testing machine was then used to validate the properties obtained from the computer simulations. There was no significant difference in the methods. Optical properties were characterised with USB poroscope imaging microscope to show that 3D printing produces much more uniform distribution of pores.Mass loss experiments were also conducted to determine mechanical stability at different pH.It was noticed that the samples degrade faster when in an acidic environment.
Capstone Project submitted to the Department of Engineering, Ashesi University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, April 2019
Diabetes mellitus, impaired wound healing, bio-polymers