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J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2012 Nov;23(11):2671-8. doi: 10.1007/s10856-012-4738-8. Epub 2012 Sep 19.

Scaffolds for bone tissue engineering fabricated from two different materials by the rapid prototyping technique: PCL versus PLGA.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Inje University, Gimhae, Gyeongnam, Korea.


Three dimensional tissue engineered scaffolds for the treatment of critical defect have been usually fabricated by salt leaching or gas forming technique. However, it is not easy for cells to penetrate the scaffolds due to the poor interconnectivity of pores. To overcome these current limitations we utilized a rapid prototyping (RP) technique for fabricating tissue engineered scaffolds to treat critical defects. The RP technique resulted in the uniform distribution and systematic connection of pores, which enabled cells to penetrate the scaffold. Two kinds of materials were used. They were poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(D, L-lactic-glycolic acid) (PLGA), where PCL is known to have longer degradation time than PLGA. In vitro tests supported the biocompatibility of the scaffolds. A 12-week animal study involving various examinations of rabbit tibias such as micro-CT and staining showed that both PCL and PLGA resulted in successful bone regeneration. As expected, PLGA degraded faster than PCL, and consequently the tissues generated in the PLGA group were less dense than those in the PCL group. We concluded that slower degradation is preferable in bone tissue engineering, especially when treating critical defects, as mechanical support is needed until full regeneration has occurred.

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