Origami-based scaffolds for tissue repair

Origami-based scaffolds for tissue repair

A wide range of strategies and biomaterials currently exist to repair or replace damaged tissues and organs. Tissue engineering techniques seek to repair structural damage by inducing cells to grow on preformed scaffolds, but this approach fails to capture the maturation process of living organs, which grow and reorganize via morphogenesis.

Investigators developed a scaffolding system made from filter paper that draws on principles of origami to fold planar sheets into multiform structures.

The paper is treated with a synthetic polymer to preserve structural integrity in wet conditions and coated with a layer of alginate hydrogel, a biomaterial widely used as a substrate in tissue engineering.

Despite these treatments, the paper remains highly versatile, able to be folded freely into a variety of 3D structures and selectively seeded in targeted regions.

As a proof of concept, the authors present trials showing that a cylindrical paper scaffold can repair a trachea defect in rabbits.

The findings demonstrate that a paper scaffolding system combined with concepts adapted from origami can mimic a variety of organic structures and support tissue regeneration at the site of injury, according to the authors.