Additive manufacturing is a rising field in bone tissue engineering. Additive fabrication offers reproducibility, high precision and rapid manufacture of custom patient-specific scaffolds. The development of appropriate composite materials for biomedical applications is critical to reach clinical application of these novel biomaterials. In this work, medical grade poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) was mixed with hydroxyapatite nanoparticles (nHA) to fabricate 3D porous scaffolds by Fused Deposition Modeling. We have first confirmed that the composite material could be printed in a reproductive manner. Physical characterization demonstrated a low degradation of the material during manufacturing steps and an expected loading and homogeneous distribution of nHA. In vitro biodegradation of the scaffolds showed modifications of morphological and physicochemical properties over time. The composite scaffolds were biocompatible and high cell viability was observed in vitro, as well as a maintain of cell proliferation. As expected, the addition of nHA displayed a positive impact on osteodifferentiation in vitro. Furthermore, a limited inflammatory reaction was observed after subcutaneous implantation of the materials in the rat. Overall, this study suggests that this composite material is suitable for bone tissue engineering applications.
Development and characterization of a PLGA-HA composite material to fabricate 3D-printed scaffolds for bone tissue engineering
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