Composite Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Regeneration Based on PCL and Mg-Containing Bioactive Glasses
IRCCS–Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Laboratory RAMSES, Via di Barbiano 1/10, 40136 Bologna, Italy
RegenHU LTD, Z.I. Du Vivier 22, CH-1690 Villaz-St-Pierre, Switzerland
IRCCS–Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Surgical Sciences and Technologies Complex Structure, Via di Barbiano 1/10, 40136 Bologna, Italy
IRCCS–Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Laboratory for Nanobiotechnology-NaBi, Via di Barbiano 1/10, 40136 Bologna, Italy
IRCCS–Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Medical Technology Laboratory Complex Structure, Via di Barbiano 1/10, 40136 Bologna, Italy
IRCCS–Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, BST Biomedical Science and Technologies Laboratory, Via di Barbiano 1/10, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Department of Engineering “Enzo Ferrari”, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via P. Vivarelli 10, 41125 Modena, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Authors as they equally contributed to this work.
Academic Editors: Magali Cucchiarini and Andrés Moya
Received: 19 March 2021 / Revised: 27 April 2021 / Accepted: 28 April 2021 / Published: 4 May 2021
Polycaprolactone (PCL) is a bioresorbable and biocompatible polymer that has been widely used in long-term implants. However, when it comes to regenerative medicine, PCL suffers from some shortcomings such as a slow degradation rate, poor mechanical properties, and low cell adhesion. The incorporation of ceramics such as bioactive glasses into the PCL matrix has yielded a class of hybrid biomaterials with remarkably improved mechanical properties, controllable degradation rates, and enhanced bioactivity, which are suitable for bone tissue engineering. The use of conventional approaches (such as solvent casting and particulate leaching, phase separation, electrospinning, freeze drying, etc.) in realizing these composite scaffolds strongly affects the control of both the internal and the external architecture of scaffolds, including pore size, pore morphology, and overall structure porosity. Accordingly, 3D printing was used in this study because of the benefits offered over conventional methods, such as high flexibility in shape and size, high reproducibility, capabilities of precise control over internal architecture down to the microscale level, and a customized design that can be tailored to specific patient needs. The optimization of the scaffold structure was previously investigated in terms of architecture through the combination of the Taguchi method and CAD drawing, and, in this study, it was investigated by varying the composition of the composite material.