Ice-templated structures for biomedical tissue repair: From physics to final scaffolds

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Pawelec, KM 
Best, SM 
Cameron, RE 

jats:pIce-templating techniques, including freeze-drying and freeze casting, are extremely versatile and can be used with a variety of materials systems. The process relies on the freezing of a water based solution. During freezing, ice nucleates within the solution and concentrates the solute in the regions between the growing crystals. Once the ice is removed via sublimation, the solute remains in a porous structure, which is a negative of the ice. As the final structure of the ice relies on the freezing of the solution, the variables which influence ice nucleation and growth alter the structure of ice-templated scaffolds. Nucleation, the initial step of freezing, can be altered by the type and concentration of solutes within the solution, as well as the set cooling rate before freezing. After nucleation, crystal growth and annealing processes, such as Ostwald ripening, determine the features of the final scaffold. Both crystal growth and annealing are sensitive to many factors including the set freezing temperature and solutes. The porous structures created using ice-templating allow scaffolds to be used for many diverse applications, from microfluidics to biomedical tissue engineering. Within the field of tissue engineering, scaffold structure can influence cellular behavior, and is thus critical for determining the biological stimulus supplied by the scaffold. The research focusing on controlling the ice-templated structure serves as a model for how other ice-templating systems might be tailored, to expand the applications of ice-templated structures to their full potential.</jats:p>

3403 Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry, 40 Engineering, 34 Chemical Sciences, 4003 Biomedical Engineering, Biotechnology
Journal Title
Applied Physics Reviews
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AIP Publishing
European Research Council (320598)
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Gates Cambridge Trust, the Newton Trust, and ERC Advanced Grant No. 320598 3D-E. A.H. holds a Daphne Jackson Fellowship funded by the University of Cambridge.