Polymer structure-property requirements for stereolithographic 3D printing of soft tissue engineering scaffolds

Ryan J. Mondschein, Akanksha Kanitkar, Christopher B. Williams, Scott S. Verbridge, Timothy E. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

331 Scopus citations


This review highlights the synthesis, properties, and advanced applications of synthetic and natural polymers 3D printed using stereolithography for soft tissue engineering applications. Soft tissue scaffolds are of great interest due to the number of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and connective tissue injuries and replacements humans face each year. Accurately replacing or repairing these tissues is challenging due to the variation in size, shape, and strength of different types of soft tissue. With advancing processing techniques such as stereolithography, control of scaffold resolution down to the μm scale is achievable along with the ability to customize each fabricated scaffold to match the targeted replacement tissue. Matching the advanced manufacturing technique to polymer properties as well as maintaining the proper chemical, biological, and mechanical properties for tissue replacement is extremely challenging. This review discusses the design of polymers with tailored structure, architecture, and functionality for stereolithography, while maintaining chemical, biological, and mechanical properties to mimic a broad range of soft tissue types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-188
Number of pages19
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Polymer
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Scaffold
  • Soft tissue engineering
  • Stereolithography
  • Vat photopolymerization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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