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Evaluation of the Osteogenesis of 3D Printing Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)-Hydroxyapatite Scaffolds in a Rat Femur Model and Its Biocompatibility

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Three-dimensional scaffolds have played an important role in tissue engineering, especially in broad applications to areas such as regenerative medicine. We have rapidly prototyped the 3D printing poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)-hydroxyapatite (PLGA/HA) bioactive scaffolds to evaluate the effect and biocompatibility of repairing rat full-thickness bone defects in vivo and in vitro. Thirty-six SD (Sprague Dawley) rats were selected to grind out a 4-mm-long full-thickness bone defect of the bilateral femurs. The sterilized scaffolds were implanted on the left limbs (experimental groups), and the right limbs (control groups) were conducted with blank treatments. Gross, histological inspection of femoral cadavers and the levels of the osteoblast-related genes of IGF-1, COL-1, OC and OPN during bone healing were collected postoperatively to further evaluate the bone repairing distinctions between the two groups. Seeding the mouse osteoblasts (MC3T3-E1) on our pretreated scaffolds in vitro presented good adhesion and adequate extension under a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Finally, HE-staining images demonstrated that the cortex of the new bone in the experimental femur reproduced the structure of the surrounding normal bone tissue combined with complete scaffold degradation. The control groups, on the other hand, suffered a long duration of healing with a poor osteogenic effect. The expression level of osteoblast-related genes in the test limbs was upregulated more highly than that of the control group. Under SEM, our bioactive scaffold featured well-distributed and interconnected porous latticework, a place into which the mouse osteoblasts penetrated, and their processes were closely attached to the material, which presented good growth conditions. Taken together, our innovation in this work demonstrated that the 3D printing PLGA/HA bioactive scaffolds had excellent biocompatibility and osteogenesis and could be potential candidates for bone grafting for future orthopedic applications.
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Keywords: 3D PRINTING; BONE DEFECT HEALING; BONE TISSUE ENGINEERING; OSTEOGENESIS; PLGA/HA

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2019

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  • Science of Advanced Materials (SAM) is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating research activities in all aspects of advanced materials in the fields of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. SAM provides the means for materials scientists, chemists, physicists, biologists, engineers, ceramicists, metallurgists, theoreticians and technocrats to publish original research articles as reviews with author's photo and short biography, full research articles and communications of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all latest aspects of advanced materials.
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