Hierarchical Bioplotting for Cartilage Tissue Engineering
Betreuer: Thomas Distler, Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini
Articular cartilage is the highly specialized connective tissue of diarthrodial joints. Its principal function is to provide a smooth, lubricated surface for articulation and to facilitate the transmission of loads with a low frictional coefficient . Yet, due to damaged articular cartilage tissue, diseases such as osteoarthritis and the poor intrinsic healing capacity of this tissue, there is a great demand for alternatives to articular cartilage regeneration. Due to the intrinsic hierarchical structure of articular cartilage, which is one factor for its long-life function, the aim of this Master thesis is to investigate the possibility of recreating this hierarchical structure by a 3D bioplotting approach in vitro. Due to its promising characteristics regarding biocompatibility, biodegradability and cell-material interactions, ADA-Gel  is used as a bio-ink for a biomimetic approach towards cartilage tissue engineering. Via additive manufacturing, different hydrogel-scaffold designs with similar hierarchical structure of cartilage will be tested regarding their mechanical and structural properties as well as their biocompatibility towards a cell line with chondrogenic differentiation capacity.
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