An optical method for evaluation of geometric fidelity for anatomically shaped tissue-engineered constructs
Quantification of shape fidelity of complex geometries for tissue-engineered constructs has not been thoroughly investigated. The objective of this study was to quantitatively describe geometric fidelities of various approaches to the fabrication of anatomically shaped meniscal constructs. Ovine menisci (n = 4) were imaged using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and microcomputed tomography (microCT). Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic molds were designed from each imaging modality and three-dimensional printed on a Stratasys FDM 3000. Silastic impression molds were fabricated directly from ovine menisci. These molds were used to generate shaped constructs using 2% alginate with 2% CaSO(4). Solid freeform fabrication was conducted on a custom open-architecture three-dimensional printing platform. Printed samples were made using 2% alginate with 0.75% CaSO(4). Hydrogel constructs were scanned via laser triangulation distance sensor. The point cloud images were analyzed to acquire computational measurements for key points of interest (e.g., height, width, and volume). Silastic molds were within + or - 10% error with respect to the native tissue for seven key measurements, microCT molds for six of seven, microCT prints for four of seven, MRI molds for five of seven, and MRI prints for four of seven. This work shows the ability to generate and quantify anatomically shaped meniscal constructs of high geometric fidelity and lends insight into the relative geometric fidelities of several tissue engineering techniques.