3D Printing Process Research and Performance Tests on Sodium Alginate-Xanthan Gum-Hydroxyapatite Hybridcartilage Regenerative Scaffolds

3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing 2024 Volum3 11, Number 3, Pages e1271–e1286

Cartilage injury is a common occurrence in the modern world. Compared with traditional treatment methods, bio-3D printing technology features better utility in the field of cartilage repair and regeneration, but still faces great challenges. For example, there is currently no means to generate blood vessels inside the scaffolds, and there remains the question of how to improve the biocompatibility of the generated scaffolds, all of which limit the application of bio-3D printing technology in this area. The main objective of this article was to prepare sodium alginate-xanthan gum-hydroxyapatite (SA-XG-HA) porous cartilage scaffolds that can naturally degrade in the human body and be used to promote cartilage damage repair by 3D printing technology. First, the viscosities of SA and XG were analyzed, and their optimal ratio was determined. Second, a mathematical model of the hybrid slurry was established based on the power-law fluid model, in which the printing pressure, needle movement speed, and fiber spacing were established as important parameters affecting the printing performance of the composite. Third, by performing a finite element simulation of the printing process and combining it with the actual printing process, suitable printing parameters were determined (air pressure of 1 bar, moving speed of 9 mm/s, line spacing of 1.6 mm, and adjacent layers of 0–90°). Fourth, composite scaffolds were prepared and tested for their compressive properties, degradation properties, cytotoxicity, and biocompatibility. The results showed that the novel composite scaffolds prepared in this study possessed good mechanical and biological properties. Young’s modulus of the composite scaffolds reached 130 KPa and was able to maintain a low degradation rate in simulated body fluid solution for >1 month. The activity of the C5.18 chondrocytes in the scaffold leach solution exceeded 120%. The cells were also able to proliferate densely on the scaffold surface.