Effect of Offset/ Gradient Melt Electrowritten (MEW) PCL Scaffolds in Bone RegenerationAuthor(s): Naghmeh Abbasi
Biomaterial scaffolds engineered to promote osteogenesis which can subsequently remodel in an identical fashion to that of natural tissue, is an excellent clinical strategy for treating the defects of bone in the maxillofacial region. This study has developed, using a novel melt electrowriting (MEW) technique, various graded porous polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds able to imitate the bimodal structure of cortical and cancellous bone tissue in terms of their morphological pore structure. These scaffolds were subsequently shown to facilitate the proliferation of osteoblasts with significant alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. Scaffolds with a staggered architecture i.e. those where the corresponding fibers in different layers are offset horizontally during the printing process, increases the number of contact points, enables larger pores, facilitates cell attachment and creates a highly porous structure with interconnected networks favourable for improved cell migration and vascularization. MEW is a relatively new technology that fills a gap between conventional fused deposition modelling 3D printing and solution electrospinning by affording significantly better control over the fabrication of the porosity in scaffolds. This is due to the highresolution during printing of the fibers which enables small pore sizes in the desired porosity. PCL polymer with its advantages of less immunoreactivity following implantation and mechanically suitability for the support of bone cells, has flexibility in design and is widely used in bone applications. However poor bioactivity and cellular affinity as well aslong-term degradation issues with PCL have been reported.