Morphological, mechanical and biological assessment of PCL/pristine graphene scaffolds for bone regeneration

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Weiguang Wang, Guilherme Ferreira Caetano, Wei-Hung Chiang, Ana Letícia Braz, Jonny James Blaker, Marco Andrey Cipriani Frade, Paulo Jorge Da Silva Bartolo


Scaffolds are physical substrates for cell attachment, proliferation, and differentiation, ultimately leading to the regeneration of tissues. They must be designed according to specific biomechanical requirements such as mechanical properties, surface characteristics, biodegradability, biocompatibility, and porosity. The optimal design of a scaffold for a specific tissue strongly depends on both materials and manufacturing processes. Polymeric scaffolds reinforced with electroactive particles could play a key role in tissue engineering by modulating cell proliferation and differentia-tion. This paper investigates the use of an extrusion additive manufacturing system to produce PCL/pristine graphene scaffolds for bone tissue applications. PCL/pristine graphene blends were prepared using a melt blending process. Scaffolds with regular and reproducible architecture were produced with different concentrations of pristine graphene. Scaffolds were evaluated from morphological, mechanical, and biological view. The results suggest that the addition of pristine graphene improves the mechanical performance of the scaffolds, reduces the hydrophobicity, and improves cell viability and proliferation.


biofabrication; human adipose-derived stem cells; poly (ε-caprolactone); pristine graphene; scaffolds; tissue engineering

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