3D-printed bi-layered polymer/hydrogel construct for interfacial tissue regeneration in a canine model

Dental Materials 2022 Volume 38, Issue 8, Pages 1316-1329


There are complications in applying regenerative strategies at the interface of hard and soft tissues due to the limited designs of constructs that can accommodate different cell types in different sites. The problem originates from the challenges in the adhesion of dissimilar materials, such as polymers and hydrogels, that can be suitable for regenerating different tissues such as bone and soft tissues. This paper presents a design of a new hybrid construct in which a polymer (polycaprolactone (PCL)) membrane firmly adheres to a layer of hydrogen (gelatin).


PCL membranes with defined size and porosity were fabricated using 3D printing. The gelatin layer was attached to the PCL membranes using the aminolysis procedure. We have examined this construct for the application of Guided Bone Regeneration (GBR) as a typical surgical regenerative procedure of the oral cavity at the interface of bone and soft tissue. Complete in vitro and in vivo investigations on canine tibia bone defects have been performed. Histological analyses for fibrosis morphometric and bone morphometric evaluation, as well as bone-fibrosis histological grading and CBCT imaging, were conducted.


Chemical and morphological studies of the membrane proved that gelatin was uniformly attached to the aminolyzed PCL membranes. The in vitro and in vivo studies indicated the membrane’s biocompatibility, mechanical stability, and barrier function for the GBR application. Furthermore, in vitro study showed that the membranes could improve osteogenesis and the regeneration of bone defects. The results illustrated that the mean bone density in the membrane groups was about three times more than that of the control group.


The fabricated 3D-printed hybrid Gelatin/PCL bi-layered membrane can be a good candidate for interfacial tissue engineering and a promising membrane for GBR procedure.