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Open AccessArticle

3D Bioprinting of Novel Biocompatible Scaffolds for Endothelial Cell Repair

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Department of Pharmacy (Chemistry), School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QJ, UK
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Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
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Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutics, Alexandria University, El Sultan Hussein St AZARITA-Qesm Al Attarin, Alexandria Governorate 21521, Egypt
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Drug Applied Research Center and Faculty of Pharmacy, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz 51664, Iran
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Pharmaceutical Engineering and 3D Printing (PharmE3D) Lab, Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery, College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 1924; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11121924
Received: 22 October 2019 / Revised: 19 November 2019 / Accepted: 20 November 2019 / Published: 22 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D and 4D Printing of (Bio)Materials)
The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate an optimized 3D bioprinting technology in order to fabricate novel scaffolds for the application of endothelial cell repair. Various biocompatible and biodegradable macroporous scaffolds (D = 10 mm) with interconnected pores (D = ~500 µm) were fabricated using a commercially available 3D bioprinter (r3bEL mini, SE3D, USA). The resolution of the printing layers was set at ~100 µm for all scaffolds. Various compositions of polylactic acid (PLA), polyethylene glycol (PEG) and pluronic F127 (F127) formulations were prepared and optimized to develop semi-solid viscous bioinks. Either dimethyloxalylglycine (DMOG) or erythroprotein (EPO) was used as a model drug and loaded in the viscous biocompatible ink formulations with a final concentration of 30% (w/w). The surface analysis of the bioinks via a spectroscopic analysis revealed a homogenous distribution of the forming materials throughout the surface, whereas SEM imaging of the scaffolds showed a smooth surface with homogenous macro-porous texture and precise pore size. The rheological and mechanical analyses showed optimum rheological and mechanical properties of each scaffold. As the drug, DMOG, is a HIF-1 inducer, its release from the scaffolds into PBS solution was measured indirectly using a bioassay for HIF-1α. This showed that the release of DMOG was sustained over 48 h. The release of DMOG was enough to cause a significant increase in HIF-1α levels in the bioassay, and when incubated with rat aortic endothelial cells (RAECs) for 2 h resulted in transcriptional activation of a HIF-1α target gene (VEGF). The optimum time for the increased expression of VEGF gene was approximately 30 min and was a 3-4-fold increase above baseline. This study provides a proof of concept, that a novel bioprinting platform can be exploited to develop biodegradable composite scaffolds for potential clinical applications in endothelial cell repair in cardiovascular disease (CVD), or in other conditions in which endothelial damage occurs. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D bioprinting; biocompatible; endothelial cell; DMOG; EPO; scaffolds; polylactic acid 3D bioprinting; biocompatible; endothelial cell; DMOG; EPO; scaffolds; polylactic acid
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Wu, Y.; Heikal, L.; Ferns, G.; Ghezzi, P.; Nokhodchi, A.; Maniruzzaman, M. 3D Bioprinting of Novel Biocompatible Scaffolds for Endothelial Cell Repair. Polymers 2019, 11, 1924.

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