4 years ago

Inverse Opal Scaffolds and Their Biomedical Applications

Inverse Opal Scaffolds and Their Biomedical Applications
Yu Shrike Zhang, Younan Xia, Chunlei Zhu
Three-dimensional porous scaffolds play a pivotal role in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine by functioning as biomimetic substrates to manipulate cellular behaviors. While many techniques have been developed to fabricate porous scaffolds, most of them rely on stochastic processes that typically result in scaffolds with pores uncontrolled in terms of size, structure, and interconnectivity, greatly limiting their use in tissue regeneration. Inverse opal scaffolds, in contrast, possess uniform pores inheriting from the template comprised of a closely packed lattice of monodispersed microspheres. The key parameters of such scaffolds, including architecture, pore structure, porosity, and interconnectivity, can all be made uniform across the same sample and among different samples. In conjunction with a tight control over pore sizes, inverse opal scaffolds have found widespread use in biomedical applications. In this review, we provide a detailed discussion on this new class of advanced materials. After a brief introduction to their history and fabrication, we highlight the unique advantages of inverse opal scaffolds over their non-uniform counterparts. We then showcase their broad applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, followed by a summary and perspective on future directions. Inverse opal scaffolds are characterized by a highly ordered array of uniform and interconnected pores. This new class of advanced materials offers unique opportunities for a broad spectrum of applications in tissue regeneration by serving as biomimetic substrates with precisely controlled properties.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/adma.201701115

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