The combination of different materials and capabilities to manufacture at several scales open new possibilities in scaffold design for bone regeneration. This work is focused on bimodal scaffolds that combine polylactic acid (PLA) melt extruded strands with polycaprolactone (PCL) electrospun fibers. This type of bimodal scaffold offers better mechanical properties, compared to the use of PCL for the extruded strands, and provides potential a means for controlled drug and/or growth factor delivery through the electrospun fibers. The technologies of fused deposition modeling (FDM) and electrospinning were combined to create 3D bimodal constructs. The system uses a controlled cooling system allowing the combination of polymers with different melting temperatures to generate integrated scaffold architecture. The thermoplastic polymers used in the FDM process enhance the mechanical properties of the bimodal scaffold and control the pore structure. Integrated layers of electrospun microfibers induce an increase of the surface area for cell culture purposes, as well as potential in situ controlled drug and/or growth factor delivery. The proposed bimodal scaffolds (PLA extruded strands and PCL electrospun fibers) show appropriate morphology and better mechanical properties when compared to the use of PCL extruded strands. On average, bimodal scaffolds with overall dimensions of 30 × 30 × 2.4 mm3
(strand diameter of 0.5 mm, strand stepover of 2.5 mm, pore size of 2 mm, and layer height of 0.3 mm) showed scaffold stiffness of 23.73 MPa and compression strength of 3.85 MPa. A cytotoxicity assay based human fibroblasts showed viability of the scaffold materials.
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