Computer-aided tissue engineering:Application to biomimetic modelling and design of tissue scaffolds

Computer-aided tissue engineering (CATE) enables many novel approaches in modeling, design, and fabrication of complex tissue substitutes with enhanced functionality and improved cell-matrix interactions. Central to CATE is its bio-tissue informatics model that represents tissue biological, biomechanical and biochemical information that serves as a central repository to interface design, simulation, and tissue fabrication. The present paper discusses the application of a CATE approach to the biomimetic design of bone tissue scaffold. A general CATE-based process for biomimetic modeling, anatomic reconstruction, computer-assisted-design of tissue scaffold, quantitative-computed-tomography characterization, finite element analysis, and freeform extruding deposition for the fabrication of scaffold is presented1.

Computer-aided tissue engineering (CATE) is a newly-emerging field that can be classified within three major categories: computer-aided tissue modeling; com-puter-aided tissue informatics; and computer-aided tissue scaffold design and manufacturing. The application of CATE allows us to explore many novel ideas in the modeling, design, and fabrication of tissue scaffolds with enhanced functionality and improved interactions with cells. This is particularly useful in modelling and design of complex bone tissue scaffolds and replacement structures that require us to simultaneously consider many biological and biophysical design requirements. The generation of functional tissue or organ structure requires a scaffold to guide the overall shape and three-dimensional organization of multiple cell types. The internal architecture of a bone scaffold cannot be chosen at ease, and various factors that need to be considered, such as porosity, pore size, and interconnectivity of the tissue scaffold structure, have all been identified to be important factors that make a tissue scaffold successful. These factors aid in the transportation of nutrients that would enable the growth of new cells and allow the tissue scaffold to act as a suitable template for appropriate bone ingrowth and healing. In addition, the designed scaffold structure should be able to have the required mechanical strength after implantation, particularly in the reconstruction of hard and load-bearing tissues such as bone and cartilage. The strength of biodegradable tissue scaffolds must not decline rapidly and must degrade at a rate similar to the growth of new tissue cells. Therefore the tissue scaffold structure should be compliant, both biologically as well as mechanically, at the site of implantation and should at best mimic the natural bone properties in order to function as a true bone substitute. Central to the CATE approach is its ability to represent pertinent tissue biological, biomechanical, and biochemical information as a computer-based bio-tissue informatics model. This model can be used as an effective communication tool between biologists and tissue engineers, with the database of the model serving as a central repository to interface design, simulation, and manufacturing of tissue substitutes. An overview of CATE in terms of the three major categories, particularly in the description of the methodology of using high-resolution non-invasive imaging force model generation, image-based three-dimensional(3D) reconstruction, computer-aided tissue informatics, tissue scaffold design, freeform fabrication, and bio-blueprint modeling and its application to 3D organ printing is presented in their review in this issue. The objective of the present paper is to discuss the application of the CATEapproach for a biomimetic design of bone tissue scaffold1.

 Computer Aided Tissue Engineering. This discipline uses and develops technologies for three key areas, Computer-Aided Tissue and Bio-Modeling, Scaffold Informatics and Biomimetic Design, and Bio-Manufacturing.
Computer Aided Tissue Engineering.
  1. Sun, W., Starly, B., Darling, A., & Gomez, C. (2004). Computer-aided tissue engineering: application to biomimetic modelling and design of tissue scaffolds. Biotechnology and applied biochemistry, 39(Pt 1), 49–58.

Figure: Gomez, Connie. (2021). A unit cell based multi-scale modeling and design approach for tissue engineered scaffolds.

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