3D Printing of Polycaprolactone–Polyaniline Electroactive Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering
Electrostimulation and electroactive scaffolds can positively influence and guide cellular behaviour and thus has been garnering interest as a key tissue engineering strategy. The development of conducting polymers such as polyaniline enables the fabrication of conductive polymeric composite scaffolds. In this study, we report on the initial development of a polycaprolactone scaffold incorporating different weight loadings of a polyaniline microparticle filler. The scaffolds are fabricated using screw-assisted extrusion-based 3D printing and are characterised for their morphological, mechanical, conductivity, and preliminary biological properties. The conductivity of the polycaprolactone scaffolds increases with the inclusion of polyaniline. The in vitro cytocompatibility of the scaffolds was assessed using human adipose-derived stem cells to determine cell viability and proliferation up to 21 days. A cytotoxicity threshold was reached at 1% wt. polyaniline loading. Scaffolds with 0.1% wt. polyaniline showed suitable compressive strength (6.45 &plusmn; 0.16 MPa) and conductivity (2.46 &plusmn; 0.65 &times; 10&minus;4 S/cm) for bone tissue engineering applications and demonstrated the highest cell viability at day 1 (88%) with cytocompatibility for up to 21 days in cell culture.