Contact osteogenesis by biodegradable 3D-printed poly(lactide-co-trimethylene carbonate)

Biomaterials Research 2022 Volume 26, Article 55


To support bone regeneration, 3D-printed templates function as temporary guides. The preferred materials are synthetic polymers, due to their ease of processing and biological inertness. Poly(lactide-co-trimethylene carbonate) (PLATMC) has good biological compatibility and currently used in soft tissue regeneration. The aim of this study was to evaluate the osteoconductivity of 3D-printed PLATMC templates for bone tissue engineering, in comparison with the widely used 3D-printed polycaprolactone (PCL) templates.


The printability and physical properties of 3D-printed templates were assessed, including wettability, tensile properties and the degradation profile. Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) were used to evaluate osteoconductivity and extracellular matrix secretion in vitro. In addition, 3D-printed templates were implanted in subcutaneous and calvarial bone defect models in rabbits.


Compared to PCL, PLATMC exhibited greater wettability, strength, degradation, and promoted osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs, with superior osteoconductivity. However, the higher ALP activity disclosed by PCL group at 7 and 21 days did not dictate better osteoconductivity. This was confirmed in vivo in the calvarial defect model, where PCL disclosed distant osteogenesis, while PLATMC disclosed greater areas of new bone and obvious contact osteogenesis on surface.


This study shows for the first time the contact osteogenesis formed on a degradable synthetic co-polymer. 3D-printed PLATMC templates disclosed unique contact osteogenesis and significant higher amount of new bone regeneration, thus could be used to advantage in bone tissue engineering.