Technological watch

Application of poly-?-caprolactone in extrusion-based bioprinting

The advancement of 3D printing techniques has given rise to tissue engineering in the field of biological sciences due to the availability of biocompatible natural and synthetic polymers. The ability to use various polymers of different properties has led to the establishment of several printing approaches capable of accommodating the desired properties of the selected polymer to print either a scaffold or a tissue in-vitro. A very common synthetic polymer used in 3D printing is poly-?-caprolactone (PCL). PCL being a multifaceted thermoplastic polymer possesses exceptional mechanical properties that have made it a favourite among the biomedical researchers. It is a well-known fact that PCL can be printed by a wide array of 3D printing techniques, however the application of PCL in bioprinting is still a new concept. In this review, we have explored: any limiting properties of PCL which could hinder its use in bioprinting; the various techniques of modification of PCL that allow it be bioprinted; and the suitable bioprinter for bioprinting PCL. We further investigated the impact of using PCL in bioprinting and the properties it renders to the construct, observing that PCL is seldomly used to encapsulate cells, instead it is used as supporting polymer which is co-printed in extrusion based bioprinting. Moreover, these PCL reinforced grafts have shown promising results in terms of cell viability, adherence, proliferation and differentiation.

Publication date: 01/03/2021

Author: Tanhai Borkar, Vidul Goenka, Amit Kumar Jaiswal



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.