Creating Porous Hydrogel Scaffolds using Templating Alginate Microspheres
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Some of the greatest areas of advancement in the medical field are currently in areas such as tissue engineering, implant fixation, and drug delivery techniques involving the use of scaffolds. A scaffold is an artificial three dimensional porous structure that can support tissue formation within the body. For scaffolds to be most successful, they should have monodisperse pores, interconnected pores, a highly ordered microstructure, and controllable pore size. To accomplish this task, templating alginate microspheres were created using microfluidics and then packed into a microchannel. A UV polymerizable hydrogel was then flowed over the alginate spheres and polymerized. After the polymerization, the alginate spheres were removed using EDTA so that a porous hydrogel scaffold can be obtained. This process was successful as a proof of concept, but there are still details that need to be improved.
- Mechanical engineering