In connective and muscolo-skeletal tissue engineering (i.e, bone, cartilage, osteochondral tissue, ligaments, menisci), it is required a temporary scaffold with peculiar biocompatible and biodegradable properties in medium-long term. Indeed, it should initially maintain its structural behaviors, allowing for cellular in-growth and nutrient diffusion, and assuring the release of molecular cues mediated by diffusion and/or degradation mechanisms to support specific cell activities (i.e, osteogenesis, condrogenesis, angiogenesis).
During the last ten years, fibre and particulate reinforced polymers have been designed with specific morphological and chemical signals to mimic the native organization of the extracellular matrix of tissues. In both cases, the manipulation of the main materials features at the micro- and nano-metric scale offers an intriguing strategy for improvement of biological and mechanical response. Many synthetic biodegradable/bioresorbable polymers (i.e., PCL, PLA, PEG) or biopolymers (i.e, collagen, gelatin, hyaluronic acid and its derivatives, chitosan) have been combined between them or with calcium phosphates with different Ca/P ratios to develop composite scaffolds with different mechanical response and in vitro stability. Case by case, process technology (i.e., salt leaching, thermally or chemically induced, phase inversion, phase separation, co-continuous polymer blending, filament winding, gas foaming) has been selected and optimized to develop a tailored composite scaffold with multiscale porosity and degradation properties, high pore interconnection and controlled geometry. Injectable scaffolds based on self-assembling hydrogel have been also realised. These activities also include integrated process of solvent-casting, salt-leaching and freeze-drying in mold obtained through Reverse Engineering technique coupled with CAD/CAM subtractive manufacturing.
In perspective, new fabrication technologies will be implemented through the integration of just investigated processes in order to more efficaciously reproduce the structural and functional complexity of natural tissues during the first stage of the regeneration process.

 

SELECTED PAPERS

Borzacchiello A,  Russo L, Malle BM,  Schwach-Abdellaoui K,  Ambrosio L. Hyaluronic Acid Based Hydrogels for Regenerative Medicine Applications. BioMed Research International 2015;Article ID 871218.

Veronesi F, Giavaresi G,  Guarino V, Raucci MG, Sandri M, Tampieri A,  Ambrosio L,  Fini M. Bioactivity and bone healing properties of biomimetic porous composite scaffold: in vitro and in vivo studies.  JBMRA 2015. DOI:10.1002/jbm.a.35433.

Guarino V, Galizia M, Alvarez Perez MA, Mensitieri G, Ambrosio L. Improving surface and transport properties of macroporous hydrogels for bone regeneration. J Biomed Mat Res A 2014. DOI: 10.1002/jbm.a.35246

A Ronca, V Guarino, M G Raucci, F Salamanna, L Martini, M Fini, S Zeppetelli and L Ambrosio - Large defect tailored composite scaffolds for in vivo bone regeneration. J Biomaterials Applications 2014 DOI: 10.1177/0885328214539823.

Guarino V, Scaglione S, Sandri M, Alvarez-Perez M A., Tampieri A, Quarto R and Ambrosio L. MgCHA particles dispersion in porous pcl scaffolds: in vitro mineralization and in vivo bone formation. J Tissue Eng and Reg Med 2014;8(4):291-303.

Dessì M, Borzacchiello A, Mohamed THA, Abdel-Fattah WI, Ambrosio L. Novel biomimetic thermosensitive β-tricalcium phosphate/chitosan-based hydrogels for bone tissue engineering. J Biomed Mater Res A 2013;101(10):2984-2993

Palamaro L, Guarino V, Scalia G, Antonini D, De Falco L, Bianchino G, Fusco A, Romano R, Grieco V, Missero C, Del Vecchio L, Ambrosio L, Pignata C. Human skin-derived keratinocytes and fibroblasts co-cultured on 3D poly ε-caprolactone scaffold support in vitro HSC differentiation into T-lineage committed cells. Int Immunol 2013; doi:10.1093/intimm/dxt035.

Dessì M,  El Massry TH, Abdel-Fattah Wafa I, Borzacchiello, Ambrosio L. Thermosensitive TCP/chitosan-based hydrogels for bone tissue engineering.  J Biomedical Materials Part A 2013;1-10. 

Gloria A, Borzacchiello A, Causa F, Ambrosio L. Rheological characterization of hyaluronic acid derivatives as injectable materials toward nucleus pulposus regeneration. J Biomater Appl 2012;26(6):745-759.

Guarino V, Urciuolo F,  Alvarez Perez MA, Mele B, Netti PA, Ambrosio L. Osteogenic differentiation and mineralization in fibre reinforced tubular scaffolds:  theoretical study and experimental evidences. J Royal Society Interface 2012;9(74):2201-12.

Guarino V, Gloria A, Raucci MG, De Santis R, Ambrosio L. Bio-inspired cell instructive composite platforms for bone regeneration. International Materals reviews 2012:57(5):256-275.

Guarino V, Gloria A, Raucci MG, Ambrosio L. Hydrogel-based platforms for biomedical applications. Polymers (open access) 2012; 4(3):1590-1612.

M.G. Raucci, V. Guarino, L. Ambrosio. Biomimetic strategies for bone Repair and Regeneration. Journal of Functional Biomaterials (open access) 2012, 3, 688-705.

Larobina D,  Guarino V,  Ambrosio L. Modeling of phase separation mechanism in polycaprolactone/dioxane binary systems. J Appl Biomat and Funct Mat 2012:10(3):237-42.

S Scaglione, V Guarino, M Sandri, A Tampieri, L Ambrosio, R Quarto. In vivo lamellar bone formation in fibre coated MgCHA-PCL composite scaffolds. J Materials Science: Mat  in Med 2012;23:117-128. 

Guarino V, Guaccio A, Guarnieri D, Netti PA, Ambrosio L.  Binary system thermodynamics to control pore architecture of PCL scaffold via temperature driven phase separation. J Biomaterials Applications 2012;27(3):241-54.

Borzacchiello A, Gloria A, Mayol L, Dickinson S, Miot S, Martin I, Ambrosio L. Natural/synthetic porous scaffold designs and properties for fibro-cartilaginous tissue engineering. J Bioact & Compat Pol 2011;26 (5):437-451.

Guarino V,  Gloria A,  Alvarez-Perez MA,  Raucci MG,  Cirillo V,  Ronca A,  De Santis R,  Ambrosio L. Design of functional polymer and composite scaffolds for the regeneration of bone, menisci, osteochondral and peripheral nervous tissues. Advanced Materials Research 2011:324(8)8-13.

Guarino V, Guaccio A, Ambrosio L. Manipulating co-continuous polymer blends to create PCL scaffolds with fully interconnected and anisotropic pore architecture.  JABB 2011;9(1):34-39.

Luciani A, Guarino V, Ambrosio L, Netti A. Solvent and melting induced microsphere sintering techniques: a comparative study of morphology and  mechanical properties. J Materials Science Materials in Medicine  2011;22(9):2019-28.

Lee J, Guarino V, Gloria A, Ambrosio L, Tae G, Kim YH, Jung Y., Kim SH, Kim SH. Regeneration of Achilles’ Tendon: The Role of Dynamic Stimulation for Enhanced Cell Proliferation and Mechanical Properties. Journal of Biomaterials Science: Polymer Ed. 2010;21:1173–1190.

Manferdini C,  Guarino V,  Zini N,  Raucci MG,  Ferrari A,  Grassi F, Gabusi E,  Squarzoni S,  Facchini A,  Ambrosio L,  Lisignoli G. Mineralization occurs faster on a new biomimetic hyaluronic acid-based scaffold. Biomaterials 2010;31(14):3986-3996

Guarino V, Ambrosio L. Temperature driven processing techniques for manufacturing  fully interconnected porous scaffolds in bone tissue engineering. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine 2010,224(12):1389-1400.

Guarino V,  Lewandowska M,  Bil M, Polak B, Ambrosio L. Morphology and degradation properties of PCL/Hyaff11-based composite scaffolds with multiscale degradation rate. Composites Science and Technology  2010;70:1826–1837.

Gloria A, De Santis R, Ambrosio L. Polymer-based composite scaffolds for tissue engineering. J Appl Biomater Biomech 2010;8:57-67.

 

PROJECTS

TissueNet, MUR-FIRB RBPR05RSM2. 2007-2011.

Materials and processes BEYOND the NANO-scale" (Beyond–Nano). PONa3_00362, MIUR. 2011-2014.

Viscoelastic and injection properties of injectable chitosan/calcium phosphates composites with antibacterial and antimicrobial functions  nell’ambito dei progetti di ricerca bilaterali fra Italia ed Egitto annualità 2008-2010 del Ministero degli Esteri.

 

STAFF

Luigi Ambrosio, Assunta Borzacchiello, Ugo D’Amora, Roberto De Santis, Antonio Gloria, Vincenzo Guarino, Alfredo Ronca.

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