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Material extrusion (MEX), commonly referred to as fused deposition modeling (FDM) or fused filament fabrication (FFF), is a versatile and cost-effective technique to fabricate suitable scaffolds for tissue engineering. Driven by a computer-aided design input, specific patterns can be easily collected in an extremely reproducible and repeatable process. Referring to possible skeletal affections, 3D-printed scaffolds can support tissue regeneration of large bone defects with complex geometries, an open major clinical challenge. In this study, polylactic acid scaffolds were printed resembling trabecular bone microarchitecture in order to deal with morphologically biomimetic features to potentially enhance the biological outcome. Three models with different pore sizes (i.e., 500, 600, and 700 µm) were prepared and evaluated by means of micro-computed tomography. The biological assessment was carried out seeding SAOS-2 cells, a bone-like cell model, on the scaffolds, which showed excellent biocompatibility, bioactivity, and osteoinductivity. The model with larger pores, characterized by improved osteoconductive properties and protein adsorption rate, was further investigated as a potential platform for bone-tissue engineering, evaluating the paracrine activity of human mesenchymal stem cells. The reported findings demonstrate that the designed microarchitecture, better mimicking the natural bone extracellular matrix, favors a greater bioactivity and can be thus regarded as an interesting option for bone-tissue engineering.
Publication date: 
9 May 2023

Eleonora Zenobi, Miriam Merco, Federico Mochi, Jacopo Ruspi, Raffaella Pecci, Rodolfo Marchese, Annalisa Convertino, Antonella Lisi, Costantino Del Gaudio, Mario Ledda

Biblio References: 
Volume: 10 Issue: 5 Pages: 567