3D fibre deposition and stereolithography techniques for the design of multifunctional nanocomposite magnetic scaffolds

Magnetic nanocomposite scaffolds based on poly(ε-caprolactone) and poly(ethylene glycol) were fabricated by 3D fibre deposition modelling (FDM) and stereolithography techniques. In addition, hybrid coaxial and bilayer magnetic scaffolds were produced by combining such techniques. The aim of the current research was to analyse some structural and functional features of 3D magnetic scaffolds obtained by the 3D fibre deposition technique and by stereolithography as well as features of multimaterial scaffolds in the form of coaxial and bilayer structures obtained by the proper integration of such methods. The compressive mechanical behaviour of these scaffolds was investigated in a wet environment at 37 °C, and the morphological features were analysed through scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray micro-computed tomography. The capability of a magnetic scaffold to absorb magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) in water solution was also assessed. confocal laser scanning microscopy was used to assess the in vitro biological behaviour of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) seeded on 3D structures. Results showed that a wide range of mechanical properties, covering those spanning hard and soft tissues, can be obtained by 3D FDM and stereolithography techniques. 3D virtual reconstruction and SEM showed the precision with which the scaffolds were fabricated, and a good-quality interface between poly(ε-caprolactone) and poly(ethylene glycol) based scaffolds was observed for bilayer and coaxial scaffolds. Magnetised scaffolds are capable of absorbing water solution of MNPs, and a preliminary information on cell adhesion and spreading of hMSCs was obtained without the application of an external magnetic field.