Meniscal injuries occur frequently in young patients as the result of trauma, such as sports injuries. To replace damaged meniscus tissue, resorbable porous implants that allow meniscal tissue ingrowth have been developed. However, an optimal scaffold is not yet available.
We aimed to build a defined, biodegradable and biocompatible functional meniscus implant using stereolithography (SLA). SLA is a 3D-printing technique that allows the building of designed 3D structures using photo-crosslinkable macromers.
We designed and built a porous implant using CT imaging data of a goat meniscus. The photo-reactive resin we used is based on poly(trimethylene carbonate) (PTMC) macromers with a relatively high molecular weight, which crosslink into biodegradable, flexible and rubber-like materials with excellent mechanical properties. The difficulties in building
designed structures with digital light processing stereolithography and the ways of optimizing the resin compositions are described in detail.