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Combined Effects of HA Concentration and Unit Cell Geometry on the Biomechanical Behavior of PCL/HA Scaffold for Tissue Engineering Applications Produced by LPBF

This experimental study aims at filling the gap in the literature concerning the combined effects of hydroxyapatite (HA) concentration and elementary unit cell geometry on the biomechanical performances of additively manufactured polycaprolactone/hydroxyapatite (PCL/HA) scaffolds for tissue engineering applications. Scaffolds produced by laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) with diamond (DO) and rhombic dodecahedron (RD) elementary unit cells and HA concentrations of 5, 30 and 50 wt.% were subjected to structural, mechanical and biological characterization to investigate the biomechanical and degradative behavior from the perspective of bone tissue regeneration. Haralick’s features describing surface pattern, correlation between micro- and macro-structural properties and human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) viability and proliferation have been considered. Experimental results showed that HA has negative influence on scaffold compaction under compression, while on the contrary it has a positive effect on hMSC adhesion. The unit cell geometry influences the mechanical response in the plastic regime and also has an effect on the cell proliferation. Finally, both HA concentration and elementary unit cell geometry affect the scaffold elastic deformation behavior as well as the amount of micro-porosity which, in turn, influences the scaffold degradation rate.

Publication date: 11/07/2023

Author: Maria Laura Gatto

Reference: doi: 10.3390/ma16144950

MDPI (materials)


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