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Magnesium Hydroxide as a Versatile Nanofiller for 3D-Printed PLA Bone Scaffolds

Polylactic acid (PLA) has attracted much attention in bone tissue engineering due to its good biocompatibility and processability, but it still faces problems such as a slow degradation rate, acidic degradation product, weak biomineralization ability, and poor cell response, which limits its wider application in developing bone scaffolds. In this study, Mg(OH)2 nanoparticles were employed as a versatile nanofiller for developing PLA/Mg(OH)2 composite bone scaffolds using fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing technology, and its mechanical, degradation, and biological properties were evaluated. The mechanical tests revealed that a 5 wt% addition of Mg(OH)2 improved the tensile and compressive strengths of the PLA scaffold by 20.50% and 63.97%, respectively. The soaking experiment in phosphate buffered solution (PBS) revealed that the alkaline degradation products of Mg(OH)2 neutralized the acidic degradation products of PLA, thus accelerating the degradation of PLA. The weight loss rate of the PLA/20Mg(OH)2 scaffold (15.40%) was significantly higher than that of PLA (0.15%) on day 28. Meanwhile, the composite scaffolds showed long-term Mg2+ release for more than 28 days. The simulated body fluid (SBF) immersion experiment indicated that Mg(OH)2 promoted the deposition of apatite and improved the biomineralization of PLA scaffolds. The cell culture of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) indicated that adding 5 wt% Mg(OH)2 effectively improved cell responses, including adhesion, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation, due to the release of Mg2+. This study suggests that Mg(OH)2 can simultaneously address various issues related to polymer scaffolds, including degradation, mechanical properties, and cell interaction, having promising applications in tissue engineering.

Publication date: 09/01/2024

Author: Wang Guo

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym16020198

MDPI (polymers)


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