AccScience Publishing / IJB / Volume 9 / Issue 6 / DOI: 10.36922/ijb.0196
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RESEARCH ARTICLE

3D printing of PCL-ceramic composite scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications

Santosh Kumar Parupelli1,3 Sheikh Saudi2 Narayan Bhattarai2,3 Salil Desai1,3*
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1 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
2 Department of Chemical, Biological and Bioengineering, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
3 Center of Excellence in Product Design and Advanced Manufacturing, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
Submitted: 11 September 2022 | Accepted: 18 November 2022 | Published: 5 July 2023
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing of Functional Biomaterials)
© 2023 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ )
Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) printing was utilized for the fabrication of a composite scaffold of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and calcium magnesium phosphate (CMP) bioceramics for bone tissue engineering application. Four groups of scaffolds, that is, PMC-0, PMC-5, PMC-10, and PMC-15, were fabricated using a custom 3D printer. Rheology analysis, surface morphology, and wettability of the scaffolds were characterized. The PMC-0 scaffolds displayed a smoother surface texture and an increase in the ceramic content of the composite scaffolds exhibited a rougher structure. The hydrophilicity of the composite scaffold was significantly enhanced compared to the control PMC-0. The effect of ceramic content on the bioactivity of fibroblast NIH/3T3 cells in the composite scaffold was investigated. Cell viability and toxicity studies were evaluated by comparing results from lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and Alamar Blue (AB) colorimetric assays, respectively. The live-dead cell assay illustrated the biocompatibility of the tested samples with more than 100% of live cells on day 3 compared to the control one. The LDH release indicated that the composite scaffolds improved cell attachment and proliferation. In this research, the fabrication of a customized composite 3D scaffold not only mimics the rough textured architecture, porosity, and chemical composition of natural bone tissue matrices but also serves as a source for soluble ions of calcium and magnesium that are favorable for bone cells to grow. These 3D-printed scaffolds thus provide a desirable microenvironment to facilitate biomineralization and could be a new effective approach for preparing constructs suitable for bone tissue engineering.

Keywords
3D printing
Bio-ceramics
Composites
Bone
Scaffold
Tissue engineering
Funding
The authors would like to express their gratitude for funding support from the National Science Foundation Grant (NSF CMMI Award #1663128, #2100739, #2100850) and the Center of Excellence in Product Design and Advanced Manufacturing at North Carolina A&T State University.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.
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International Journal of Bioprinting, Electronic ISSN: 2424-8002 Print ISSN: 2424-7723, Published by AccScience Publishing