On Demand 3D Printed Hybrid Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering Applications

Ivan D Hernandez, University of Texas at El Paso


A composite 3D printed polymer scaffold with inbuilt porosity and filled with a hydrogel can provide an ideal support system for cell growth, proliferation, and vascularization. Therefore, a hybrid system of 3D printed polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffold and a hydroxyapatite-based hydrogel was developed for application in the reconstruction of bone defects, which are inherently difficult to repair without any guided therapies. In the present study, a 3D printed gyroid structure of PCL allowed the loading of a higher amount of hydrogel as compared to conventionally used 3D printed mesh structure of the same volume and strut thickness. The hydrogel was composed of alginate, gelatin, nano-hydroxyapatite, and human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) to enhance the osteoconductivity and biocompatibility of the composite implant. The adhesion and proliferation of the hMSCs within the hydrogel matrix and the migration of the cells from the gel towards the solid scaffold surfaces confirmed the cytocompatibility of the designed scaffold/hydrogel system. Further, the bio mineralization test in simulated body fluid (SBF) showed the nucleation and growth of apatite crystals on the samples, which confirmed the bioactivity of the hybrid system. Moreover, the dissolution study, in SBF revealed a continuous sustained dissolution of the hydrogel with time. Overall, the present study provides a new approach in bone tissue engineering for repair of bone defects with a bioactive hybrid system of biodegradable scaffold and hydrogel.

Subject Area

Biomedical engineering|Materials science

Recommended Citation

Hernandez, Ivan D, "On Demand 3D Printed Hybrid Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering Applications" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10285453.