Impact of In-Process Crystallinity of Biodegradable Scaffolds Fabricated by Material Extrusion on the Micro- and Nanosurface Topography, Viability, Proliferation, and Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stromal Cells

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Due to affordability, and the ability to parametrically control the vital processing parameters, material extrusion is a widely accepted technology in tissue engineering. Material extrusion offers sufficient control over pore size, geometry, and spatial distribution, and can also yield different levels of in-process crystallinity in the resulting matrix. In this study, an empirical model based on four process parameters—extruder temperature, extrusion speed, layer thickness, and build plate temperature—was used to control the level of in-process crystallinity of polylactic acid (PLA) scaffolds. Two sets of scaffolds were fabricated, with low- and high-crystallinity content, and subsequently seeded with human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSC). The biochemical activity of hMSC cells was tested by examining the DNA content, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) tests. The results of this 21-day in vitro experiment showed that high level crystallinity scaffolds performed significantly better in terms of cell response. Follow-up tests revealed that the two types of scaffolds were equivalent in terms of hydrophobicity, and module of elasticity. However, detailed examination of their micro- and nanosurface topographic features revealed that the higher crystallinity scaffolds featured pronounced nonuniformity and a larger number of summits per sampling area, which was the main contributor to a significantly better cell response.


Original languageEnglish
Article number1468
Number of pages21
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

External IDs

WOS 000960148900001
Mendeley 1fb9f9e9-487d-381c-b1fd-2dd017bce94b



  • Cell response, Human mesenchymal stromal cells, Material extrusion, Nanosurface topography, Polymer crystallinity, cell response, polymer crystallinity, human mesenchymal stromal cells, nanosurface topography, material extrusion