Laser fabrication of three-dimensional CAD scaffolds from photosensitive gelatin for applications in tissue engineering

Biomacromolecules. 2011 Apr 11;12(4):851-8. doi: 10.1021/bm1015305. Epub 2011 Mar 2.


In the present work, 3D CAD scaffolds for tissue engineering applications were developed starting from methacrylamide-modified gelatin (GelMOD) using two-photon polymerization (2PP). The scaffolds were cross-linked employing the biocompatible photoinitiator Irgacure 2959. Because gelatin is derived from collagen (i.e., the main constituent of the ECM), the developed materials mimic the cellular microenvironment from a chemical point of view. In addition, by applying the 2PP technique, structural properties of the cellular microenvironment can also be mimicked. Furthermore, in vitro degradation assays indicated that the enzymatic degradation capability of gelatin is preserved for the methacrylamide-modified derivative. An in depth morphological analysis of the 2PP-fabricated scaffolds demonstrated that the parameters of the CAD model are reproduced with great precision, including the ridge-like surface topography on the order of 1.5 μm. The developed scaffolds showed an excellent stability in culture medium. In a final part of the present work, the suitability of the developed scaffolds for tissue engineering applications was verified. The results indicated that the applied materials are suitable to support porcine mesenchymal stem cell adhesion and subsequent proliferation. Upon applying osteogenic stimulation, the seeded cells differentiated into the anticipated lineage. Energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis showed the induced calcification of the scaffolds. The results clearly indicate that 2PP is capable of manufacturing precisely constructed 3D tissue engineering scaffolds using photosensitive polymers as starting material.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gelatin / chemistry*
  • Lasers*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular
  • Photochemistry
  • Swine
  • Tissue Engineering*


  • Gelatin