Liling Zhang, Tiantian Zheng, Linliang Wu, Qi Han, Shiyu Chen, Yan Kong, Guicai Li, Lei Ma, Hong Wu, Yahong Zhao, Yinxian Yu, Yumin Yang
March 1, 2021
Peripheral nerve injury has seriously affected patient’s health and life. Schwann cells play an important role in peripheral nerve regeneration. However, the effect of the current tissue engineered scaffolds for promoting Schwann cells growth is still not as good as that of autologous graft. In this study, new developed three-dimensional gellan gum/starch (GG/ST) scaffolds with various printing gap for Schwann cells growth were prepared by 3D printing technology. Various physiochemical characterizations of the printed scaffolds were performed including morphology, rheological behavior, swelling ratio, and degradation behavior. The cytotoxicity and biocompatibility of the scaffolds were evaluated using L929 fibroblasts and RSC96 Schwann cells, respectively. The results displayed that the GG/ST scaffold exhibited a porous network structure. The cross-sectional pore density of the hydrogel had a tendency to increase with the ascending printing gap. The swelling rate and degradation rate of the hydrogel gradually increased and eventually reached an equilibrium state. The rheological test results showed that the scaffolds had good printability. MTT cytotoxicity test and CCK-8 cell proliferation test displayed that the scaffold was nontoxic, and Schwann cells could grow well on the scaffold after 5 days of culture, whereas the number of cells on the scaffold with the printing gap of 3 mm was the largest. These results indicated that the GG/ST scaffold prepared by 3D printing technology may have a potential application in peripheral nerve regeneration.