Shape memory activation can affect cell seeding of shape memory polymer scaffolds designed for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

Jing Wang, Megan E. Brasch, Richard M. Baker, Ling Fang Tseng, Alexis N. Peña, James H Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Abstract: The ability of a three-dimensional scaffold to support cell seeding prior to implantation is a critical criterion for many scaffold-based tissue engineering and regenerative medicine strategies. Shape memory polymer functionality may present important new opportunities and challenges in cell seeding, but the extent to which shape memory activation can positively or negatively affect cell seeding has yet to be reported. The goal of this study was to determine whether shape memory activation can affect cell seeding. The hypothesis was that shape memory activation of porous scaffolds during cell seeding can affect both the number of cells seeded in a scaffold and the distribution (in terms of average infiltration distance) of cells following seeding. Here, we used a porous shape memory foam scaffold programmed to expand when triggered to study cell number and average cell infiltration distance following shape memory activation. We found that shape memory activation can affect both the number of cells and the average cell infiltration distance. The effect was found to be a function of rate of shape change and scaffold pore interconnectivity. Magnitude of shape change had no effect. Only reductions in cell number and infiltration distance (relative to control and benchmark) were observed. The findings suggest that strategies for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine that involve shape memory activation in the presence of a cell-containing medium in vitro or in vivo should consider how recovery rate and scaffold pore interconnectivity may ultimately impact cell seeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number151
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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