Special Issue "3D Printing and Nanotechnology in Biology and Medical Applications"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ignazio Roppolo
Guest Editor
Departement of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy
Interests: 3D printing; photopolymerization; nanocomposite; functional materials; light driven reactions.
Dr. Annalisa Chiappone
Guest Editor
Departement of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy
Interests: 3D printing; photopolymerization; nanocomposite; biomaterials; natural polymers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

3D Printing and nanotechnology present manifold advantages and unique properties that make them extremely attractive. In particular, in recent years, nanotechnology has opened a variety of routes scaling down the dimensions of materials and devices, while 3D printing has allowed the production of objects with shapes impossible to achieve by classical subtractive manufacturing techniques. The eventual combination of the two fields can bring forth unique results that are surely of great interest both at the scientific and industrial level. 3D printing and nanotechnology are exploding in myriad applications and, in particular, they are attracting strong attraction in the biomedical field.

This Special Issue of Nanomaterials aims to publish original high-quality research papers covering the most recent advances as well as comprehensive reviews addressing state-of-the-art topics in the field of materials and devices related to 3D printing and nanotechnology in biology and medical applications.

Further, opinions and papers on open questions that could give critical assessments and future directions in this research field are welcome.

This Special Issue will cover the synthesis, preparation, and characterization of both nanomaterials and new materials for 3D printing, focusing on their application in biology and medicine. New biocompatible, bioinert, and biodegradable materials to be used as 3D scaffold, antimicrobial nanomaterials, surface functionalization processes, and the development of devices for biomedical nanoreactions and medical applications will be of interest. Topics to be covered by this Special Issue include but are not limited to the following:

  • 3D printable nanomaterials and nanocomposites preparation and characterization;
  • Biocompatibility of 3D printable materials;
  • Antimicrobial nanomaterials for 3D structures;
  • Advances in bioplotting materials and 3D structures;
  • SL–DLP printable materials and 3D structures for the biomedical field;
  • FFF and SLS printable materials and 3D structures for the biomedical field;
  • 2 photons resins and nanodevices;
  • Electrospinnable materials for 3D scaffolds or porous substrates;
  • Surface functionalization processes for molecules immobilization and detection in 3D devices;
  • Microfluidic devices for nanoreactors.

We would like to gratefully acknowledge in advance the authors and reviewers who will participate to the elaboration of this Special Issue.

Dr. Ignazio Roppolo
Dr. Annalisa Chiappone
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • 3D printing
  • Biology and medical implants
  • nanomaterials
  • surface functionalization
  • device design and fabrication

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
3D-Printed Concentration-Controlled Microfluidic Chip with Diffusion Mixing Pattern for the Synthesis of Alginate Drug Delivery Microgels
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(10), 1451; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9101451 - 12 Oct 2019
Cited by 4
Alginate as a good drug delivery vehicle has excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability. In the ionic gelation process between alginate and Ca2+, the violent reaction is the absence of a well-controlled strategy in the synthesizing calcium alginate (CaA) microgels. In this study, [...] Read more.
Alginate as a good drug delivery vehicle has excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability. In the ionic gelation process between alginate and Ca2+, the violent reaction is the absence of a well-controlled strategy in the synthesizing calcium alginate (CaA) microgels. In this study, a concentration-controlled microfluidic chip with central buffer flow was designed and 3D-printed to well-control the synthesis process of CaA microgels by the diffusion mixing pattern. The diffusion mixing pattern in the microfluidic chip can slow down the ionic gelation process in the central stream. The particle size can be influenced by channel length and flow rate ratio, which can be regulated to 448 nm in length and 235 nm in diameter. The delivery ratio of Doxorubicin (Dox) in CaA microgels are up to 90% based on the central stream strategy. [email protected] microgels with pH-dependent release property significantly enhances the cell killing rate against human breast cancer cells (MCF-7). The diffusion mixing pattern gives rise to well-controlled synthesis of CaA microgels, serving as a continuous and controllable production process for advanced drug delivery systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing and Nanotechnology in Biology and Medical Applications)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Assessment of a collagen-based hybrid system suitable for the 3D printing of nanostructured bone scaffolds
Authors: Giorgia Montalbano1, Giorgia Borciani1,2, Caterina Licini1,3, Giorgia Cerqueni3, Federica Banche-Niclot1, Davide Janner1, Sonia Fiorilli1, Monica Mattioli-Belmonte3 , Gabriela Ciapetti2 and Chiara Vit
Affiliation: 1 Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy 2 Laboratorio di Fisiopatologia Ortopedica e Medicina Rigenerativa, Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna, Italy 3 DISCLIMO, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy * Correspondence: [email protected];
Abstract: Nowadays, bone tissue regeneration induced by biomimetic bioactive materials is considered a valid alternative to the most common clinical approaches used to treat bone loss caused by trauma or diseases such as osteoporosis. The goal is to design nanostructured bioactive constructs able to reproduce the natural environment mimicking both the composition and structure of the natural bone tissue to influence cell behavior during the regeneration process. 3D printing technologies are currently reported as the only techniques able to design complex structures avoiding restrictions in the final shape and porosity. However, they require an intensive optimization of biomaterials with specific rheological properties. In this context, nano-sized mesoporous bioactive glasses enriched with strontium ions were combined with type I collagen to develop a hybrid formulation suitable for the 3D printing of bone-like scaffolds. The combination of genipin and ethanol as chemical crosslinking agent proved its benefits showing a significant increase in the mechanical and thermal stability of the material, also avoiding the burst release of strontium ions. The high biocompatibility of the hybrid system was confirmed using MG-63 and Saos-2 osteoblast-like cell lines, further highlighting the suitability of the developed nanocomposite for the potential design of bone-like scaffolds.

Title: PLGA membranes functionalized with gelatin through biomimetic mussel-inspired strategy
Authors: Irene Carmagnola, Valeria Chiono, Annachiara Scalzone, Piergiorgio Gentile, Paola Taddei, Gianluca Ciardelli
Affiliation: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi 24, 10129, Turin, Italy

Title: 3D printed multimaterial scaffolds with both internal and external porosity after submission to SCCO2 and breath figures techniques
Authors: Raúl Sanz-Horta, Carlos Elvira, Alberto Gallardo, Helmut Reinecke and Juan Rodríguez-Hernández
Affiliation: Institute of Polymer Science and Technology, ICTP-CSIC, Department of Applied Macromolecular Chemistry, Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid, Spain.
Abstract: The fabrication of porous materials for tissue engineering applications in a straightforward manner still a current challenge. Herein, we combine the advantages of three complementary methodologies to produce well define objects with internal and external porosity. First of all, multimaterial fused deposition modelling (FDM) allowed us to prepare structures combining poly(-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(lactic acid) (PLA) thus enabling to finely tune the final mechanical properties of the printed part. More interestingly, supercritical CO2 (SCCO2) as well as the breath figures mechanism (BFs) were additionally employed to produce internal and external pores exclusively in those areas where PCL is present. This strategy will offer unique possibilities to fabricate intricate structures combining the advantages of AM in terms of flexibility and versatility and those provided by the SCCO2 and BFs to finely tune the formation of porous structures.

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