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Spatially Controlled Delivery of siRNAs to Stem Cells in Implants Generated by Multi-Component Additive Manufacturing

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Additive manufacturing is a promising technique in tissue engineering, as it enables truly individualized implants to be made to fit a particular defect. As previously shown, a feasible strategy to produce complex multicellular tissues is to deposit different small interfering RNA (siRNA) in porous implants that are subsequently sutured together. In this study, an additive manufacturing strategy to deposit carbohydrate hydrogels containing different siRNAs is applied into an implant, in a spatially controlled manner. When the obtained structures are seeded with mesenchymal stem (stromal) cells, the selected siRNAs are delivered to the cells and induces specific and localized gene silencing. Here, it is demonstrated how to replicate part of a patient's spinal cord from a computed tomography scan, using an additive manufacturing technique to produce an implant with compartmentalized siRNAs in the locations corresponding to distinct tissue. Hydrogel solutions loaded with different siRNA can be co-printed together with polycaprolactone that acts as rigid mechanical support to the hydrogel. This study demonstrates a new route for the production of 3D functionalized, individualized implants which may provide great clinical benefit
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Pages (from-to)5599-5607
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2013

    Research areas

  • drug delivery, hydrogels, medical applications, polymeric materials, tissue engineering

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