Melt electrowriting onto anatomically relevant biodegradable substrates: Resurfacing a diarthrodial joint

Quentin C. Peiffer, Mylène de Ruijter, Joost van Duijn, Denis Crottet, Ernst Dominic, Jos Malda, Miguel Castilho (Corresponding author)

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Three-dimensional printed hydrogel constructs with well-organized melt electrowritten (MEW) fibre-reinforcing scaffolds have been demonstrated as a promising regenerative approach to treat small cartilage defects. Here, we investige how to translate the fabrication of small fibre-reinforced structures on flat surfaces to anatomically relevant structures. In particular, the accurate deposition of MEW-fibres onto curved surfaces of conductive and non-conductive regenerative biomaterials is studied. This study reveals that clinically relevant materials with low conductivities are compatible with resurfacing with organized MEW fibres. Importantly, accurate patterning on non-flat surfaces was successfully shown, provided that a constant electrical field strength and an electrical force normal to the substrate material is maintained. Furthermore, the application of resurfacing the geometry of the medial human femoral condyle is confirmed by the fabrication of a personalised osteochondral implant. The implant composed of an articular cartilage-resident chondroprogenitor cells (ACPCs)-laden hydrogel reinforced with a well-organized MEW scaffold retained its personalised shape, improved its compressive properties and supported neocartilage formation after 28 days in vitro culture. Overall, this study establishes the groundwork for translating MEW from planar and non-resorbable material substrates to anatomically relevant geometries and regenerative materials that the regenerative medicine field aims to create.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109025
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials & Design
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


This research was supported by EU funded— E11312 BioArchitect project together with regenHU, the Dutch Arthritis Foundation ( LLP-12 ), and the European Research Council (ERC) consolidator grant 3D-JOINT (# 647426 ). MC also acknowledges the strategic alliance University Medical Center Utrecht–Technical University Eindhoven and the partners of Regenerative Medicine Crossing Borders ( www.regmedxb . com) and powered by Health~Holland, Top Sector Life Sciences & Health.

FundersFunder number
Dutch Arthritis FoundationLLP-12
Regenerative Medicine Crossing Borders
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme647426
European Commission
European Research Council


    • Anatomical surfaces
    • Biofabrication
    • Electrospinning
    • Electrostatics
    • Fibre-reinforced hydrogels
    • Osteochondral defects


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