This study aimed to comprehend the potentialities of the microfabrication to produce tissue-engineering scaffolds. Structures presenting homogeneously distributed pores of size 100 and 200 mu m were fabricated through layer-by-layer deposition of filaments of poly(D,L-lactic acid) (PDLLA) prepared from dichloromethane/dhnethylformamide solutions. Rheological tests on the solution and molecular weight distributions of PDLLA, solvent cast films and microfabricated scaffolds were performed to determine which material conditions are optimal for the microfabricated system and to identify any possible material modification induced by the process. In vitro qualitative preliminary cell culture studies were conducted using MG63 osteoblast cell lines after assuring the non-cytotoxicity of the scaffold material by the lactate dehydrogenase in vitro toxicology assay; biological evaluations were initially performed using scaffolds with the smaller (100 mu m) pore size. Scanning electron microscopy imaging was used to determine cell morphology distribution. A second cell culture test was performed, using the scaffold with the higher (200 mu m) porosity. Confocal laser microscopy (CLM) was utilized to examine cell morphology and growth behaviour. Cellular metabolic activity and viability were also examined using Alamar Blue assay and further verifications were performed using CLM. Cell culture studies indicated homogeneous distribution, high viability and metabolic activity. Pore dimension affects cell distribution: pores <100 mu m acted as barrier structures for the MG63 osteoblast cell line; penetration inside the matrix was hindered and cells grew on the outer part. Increasing pore size resulted in a more homogeneous cell distribution and penetration of cells inside the structure was achieved. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.