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Open AccessArticle

Composite Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Regeneration Based on PCL and Mg-Containing Bioactive Glasses

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IRCCS–Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Laboratory RAMSES, Via di Barbiano 1/10, 40136 Bologna, Italy
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RegenHU LTD, Z.I. Du Vivier 22, CH-1690 Villaz-St-Pierre, Switzerland
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IRCCS–Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Surgical Sciences and Technologies Complex Structure, Via di Barbiano 1/10, 40136 Bologna, Italy
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IRCCS–Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Laboratory for Nanobiotechnology-NaBi, Via di Barbiano 1/10, 40136 Bologna, Italy
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IRCCS–Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Medical Technology Laboratory Complex Structure, Via di Barbiano 1/10, 40136 Bologna, Italy
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IRCCS–Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, BST Biomedical Science and Technologies Laboratory, Via di Barbiano 1/10, 40136 Bologna, Italy
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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
Biology 2021, 10(5), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050398
Received: 19 March 2021 / Revised: 27 April 2021 / Accepted: 28 April 2021 / Published: 4 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multidisciplinary Insights on Bone Healing)
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.
Polycaprolactone (PCL) is widely used in additive manufacturing for the construction of scaffolds for tissue engineering because of its good bioresorbability, biocompatibility, and processability. Nevertheless, its use is limited by its inadequate mechanical support, slow degradation rate and the lack of bioactivity and ability to induce cell adhesion and, thus, bone tissue regeneration. In this study, we fabricated 3D PCL scaffolds reinforced with a novel Mg-doped bioactive glass (Mg-BG) characterized by good mechanical properties and biological reactivity. An optimization of the printing parameters and scaffold fabrication was performed; furthermore, an extensive microtopography characterization by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy was carried out. Nano-indentation tests accounted for the mechanical properties of the scaffolds, whereas SBF tests and cytotoxicity tests using human bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) were performed to evaluate the bioactivity and in vitro viability. Our results showed that a 50/50 wt% of the polymer-to-glass ratio provides scaffolds with a dense and homogeneous distribution of Mg-BG particles at the surface and roughness twice that of pure PCL scaffolds. Compared to pure PCL (hardness H = 35 ± 2 MPa and Young’s elastic modulus E = 0.80 ± 0.05 GPa), the 50/50 wt% formulation showed H = 52 ± 11 MPa and E = 2.0 ± 0.2 GPa, hence, it was close to those of trabecular bone. The high level of biocompatibility, bioactivity, and cell adhesion encourages the use of the composite PCL/Mg-BG scaffolds in promoting cell viability and supporting mechanical loading in the host trabecular bone. View Full-Text
Keywords: PCL; bioactive glasses; therapeutic ions; magnesium; composite scaffolds; human bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells; tissue engineering; bone PCL; bioactive glasses; therapeutic ions; magnesium; composite scaffolds; human bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells; tissue engineering; bone
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MDPI and ACS Style

Petretta, M.; Gambardella, A.; Boi, M.; Berni, M.; Cavallo, C.; Marchiori, G.; Maltarello, M.C.; Bellucci, D.; Fini, M.; Baldini, N.; Grigolo, B.; Cannillo, V. Composite Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Regeneration Based on PCL and Mg-Containing Bioactive Glasses. Biology 2021, 10, 398. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050398

AMA Style

Petretta M, Gambardella A, Boi M, Berni M, Cavallo C, Marchiori G, Maltarello MC, Bellucci D, Fini M, Baldini N, Grigolo B, Cannillo V. Composite Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Regeneration Based on PCL and Mg-Containing Bioactive Glasses. Biology. 2021; 10(5):398. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050398

Chicago/Turabian Style

Petretta, Mauro; Gambardella, Alessandro; Boi, Marco; Berni, Matteo; Cavallo, Carola; Marchiori, Gregorio; Maltarello, Maria C.; Bellucci, Devis; Fini, Milena; Baldini, Nicola; Grigolo, Brunella; Cannillo, Valeria. 2021. "Composite Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Regeneration Based on PCL and Mg-Containing Bioactive Glasses" Biology 10, no. 5: 398. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050398

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