Stereolithography in tissue engineering

J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2014 Mar;25(3):845-56. doi: 10.1007/s10856-013-5107-y. Epub 2013 Dec 4.


Several recent research efforts have focused on use of computer-aided additive fabrication technologies, commonly referred to as additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping, solid freeform fabrication, or three-dimensional printing technologies, to create structures for tissue engineering. For example, scaffolds for tissue engineering may be processed using rapid prototyping technologies, which serve as matrices for cell ingrowth, vascularization, as well as transport of nutrients and waste. Stereolithography is a photopolymerization-based rapid prototyping technology that involves computer-driven and spatially controlled irradiation of liquid resin. This technology enables structures with precise microscale features to be prepared directly from a computer model. In this review, use of stereolithography for processing trimethylene carbonate, polycaprolactone, and poly(D,L-lactide) poly(propylene fumarate)-based materials is considered. In addition, incorporation of bioceramic fillers for fabrication of bioceramic scaffolds is reviewed. Use of stereolithography for processing of patient-specific implantable scaffolds is also discussed. In addition, use of photopolymerization-based rapid prototyping technology, known as two-photon polymerization, for production of tissue engineering scaffolds with smaller features than conventional stereolithography technology is considered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Guided Tissue Regeneration / instrumentation*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Photography / methods*
  • Prosthesis Design / instrumentation
  • Prosthesis Design / methods*
  • Tissue Engineering / instrumentation*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods
  • Tissue Scaffolds*