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Antibacterial 3D-Printed Silver Nanoparticle/Poly Lactic-Co-Glycolic Acid (PLGA) Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering

Infectious bone defects present a major challenge in the clinical setting currently. In order to address this issue, it is imperative to explore the development of bone tissue engineering scaffolds that are equipped with both antibacterial and bone regenerative capabilities. In this study, we fabricated antibacterial scaffolds using a silver nanoparticle/poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (AgNP/PLGA) material via a direct ink writing (DIW) 3D printing technique. The scaffolds’ microstructure, mechanical properties, and biological attributes were rigorously assessed to determine their fitness for repairing bone defects. The surface pores of the AgNPs/PLGA scaffolds were uniform, and the AgNPs were evenly distributed within the scaffolds, as confirmed via scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Tensile testing confirmed that the addition of AgNPs enhanced the mechanical strength of the scaffolds. The release curves of the silver ions confirmed that the AgNPs/PLGA scaffolds released them continuously after an initial burst. The growth of hydroxyapatite (HAP) was characterized via SEM and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results showed that HAP was deposited on the scaffolds, and also confirmed that the scaffolds had mixed with the AgNPs. All scaffolds containing AgNPs exhibited antibacterial properties against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Escherichia coli (E. coli). A cytotoxicity assay using mouse embryo osteoblast precursor cells (MC3T3-E1) showed that the scaffolds had excellent biocompatibility and could be used for repairing bone tissue. The study shows that the AgNPs/PLGA scaffolds have exceptional mechanical properties and biocompatibility, effectively inhibiting the growth of S. aureus and E. coli. These results demonstrate the potential application of 3D-printed AgNPs/PLGA scaffolds in bone tissue engineering.

Publication date: 23/05/2023

Author: Fajun Chen

Reference: doi: 10.3390/ma16113895

MDPI (materials)


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