A 3D Bioprinted Pseudo-Bone Drug Delivery Scaffold for Bone Tissue Engineering

A 3D bioprinted pseudo-bone drug delivery scaffold was fabricated to display matrix strength, matrix resilience, as well as porous morphology of healthy human bone. Computer-aided design (CAD) software was employed for developing the 3D bioprinted scaffold. Further optimization of the scaffold was undertaken using MATLAB® software and artificial neural networks (ANN). Polymers employed for formulating the 3D scaffold comprised of polypropylene fumarate (PPF), free radical polymerized polyethylene glycol- polycaprolactone (PEG-PCL-PEG), and pluronic (PF127). Simvastatin was incorporated into the 3D bioprinted scaffolds to further promote bone healing and repair properties. The 3D bioprinted scaffold was characterized for its chemical, morphological, mechanical, and in vitro release kinetics for evaluation of its behavior for application as an implantable scaffold at the site of bone fracture. The ANN-optimized 3D bioprinted scaffold displayed significant properties as a controlled release platform, demonstrating drug release over 20 days. The 3D bioprinted scaffold further displayed formation as a pseudo-bone matrix, using a human clavicle bone model, induced with a butterfly fracture. The strength of the pseudo-bone matrix, evaluated for its matrix hardness (MH) and matrix resilience (MR), was evaluated to be as strong as original bone, having a 99% MH and 98% MR property, to healthy human clavicle bones.