Background: Three-dimensional (3D) printing has become an available technology to fabricate customized tissue engineering scaffolds with delicate architecture. This exploratory study aimed to evaluate the potential of a 3D-printed hydroxyapatite-based scaffold as a biomaterial for obtaining guided bone regeneration (GBR) in vivo. Methods: Scaffolds composed of 90% hydroxyapatite and 10% poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) were printed using a microextrusion process to fit 4 mm diameter and 0.5 mm thick through-and-through osseous defects on the mandibular ramus of rats, with unfilled defects serving as controls. Specimens were analyzed for regeneration-associated gene expression on day 7, and micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) and histology assessments were carried out on day 28. Results: The scaffolds were 3.56 ± 0.43 mm (x-axis) and 4.02 ± 0.44 mm (y-axis) in diameter and 0.542 ± 0.035 mm thick (z-axis), with a mean pore size of 0.420 ± 0.028 × 0.328 ± 0.005 mm2. Most scaffolds fit the defects well. Type I collagen, VEGF, and Cbfa1 were upregulated in the scaffold-treated defects by day 7. By day 28, de novo osteogenesis and scaffold–tissue integration were evident in the scaffold-treated defects, and entire mineralized tissue, as well as newly formed bone, was significantly promoted, as seen in the micro-CT and histologic analyses. Conclusion: The 3D-printed hydroxyapatite-based scaffold showed acceptable dimensional stability and demonstrated favorable osteoregenerative capability that fulfilled the need for GBR.
- bone regeneration; hydroxyapatite; printing
- three-dimensional; tissue scaffold
ASJC Scopus subject areas