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Additive manufacturing techniques for the fabrication of tissue engineering scaffolds: a review

Mohit Kumar (Additive and Subtractive Manufacturing Lab, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, IIT Roorkee, Roorkee)
Varun Sharma (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, IIT Roorkee, Roorkee, India)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 5 July 2021

Issue publication date: 15 July 2021




Additive manufacturing (AM) or solid freeform fabrication (SFF) technique is extensively used to produce intrinsic 3D structures with high accuracy. Its significant contributions in the field of tissue engineering (TE) have significantly increased in the recent years. TE is used to regenerate or repair impaired tissues which are caused by trauma, disease and injury in human body. There are a number of novel materials such as polymers, ceramics and composites, which possess immense potential for production of scaffolds. However, the major challenge is in developing those bioactive and patient-specific scaffolds, which have a required controlled design like pore architecture with good interconnectivity, optimized porosity and microstructure. Such design not only supports cell proliferation but also promotes good adhesion and differentiation. However, the traditional techniques fail to fulfill all the required specific properties in tissue scaffold. The purpose of this study is to report the review on AM techniques for the fabrication of TE scaffolds.


The present review paper provides a detailed analysis of the widely used AM techniques to construct tissue scaffolds using stereolithography (SLA), selective laser sintering (SLS), fused deposition modeling (FDM), binder jetting (BJ) and advanced or hybrid additive manufacturing methods.


Subsequently, this study also focuses on understanding the concepts of TE scaffolds and their characteristics, working principle of scaffolds fabrication process. Besides this, mechanical properties, characteristics of microstructure, in vitro and in vivo analysis of the fabricated scaffolds have also been discussed in detail.


The review paper highlights the way forward in the area of additive manufacturing applications in TE field by following a systematic review methodology.



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support provided by DST-SERB India for the project grant SER-1455-MID and FIG, IIT Roorkee.


Kumar, M. and Sharma, V. (2021), "Additive manufacturing techniques for the fabrication of tissue engineering scaffolds: a review", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 1230-1272.



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