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Surface acoustic waves(SAWs) have been used as a rapid and efficient technique for driving microparticles into a three-dimensional scaffold matrix, raising the possibility that SAW may be effective in seeding live cells into scaffolds, that is, if the cells were able to survive the infusion process. Primary osteoblast-like cells were used to specifically address this issue: To investigate the effects of SAW on the cells’ viability, proliferation, and differentiation. Fluorescence-labeled osteoblast-like cells were seeded into polycaprolactone scaffolds using the SAW method with a static method as a control. The cell distribution in the scaffold was assessed through image analysis. The cells were far more uniformly driven into the scaffold with the SAW method compared to the control, and the seeding process with SAW was also significantly faster: Cells were delivered into the scaffold in seconds compared to the hour-long process of static seeding. Over 80% of the osteoblast-like cells were found to be viable after being treated with SAW at 20 MHz for 10–30 s with an applied power of 380 mW over a wide range of cell suspension volumes and cell densities . After determining the optimal cell seeding parameters, we further found that the treated cells offered the same functionality as untreated cells. Taken together, these results show that the SAW method has significant potential as a practical scaffold cell seeding method for tissue and orthopedic engineering.


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