Development of 3D-printed PLGA/TiO2 nanocomposite scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications

Porous scaffolds were 3D-printed using poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA)/TiO2 composite (10:1 weight ratio) for bone tissue engineering applications. Addition of TiO2 nanoparticles improved the compressive modulus of scaffolds. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) revealed an increase in both glass transition temperature and thermal decomposition onset of the composite compared to pure PLGA. Furthermore, addition of TiO2 was found to enhance the wettability of the surface evidenced by reducing the contact angle from 90.5 ± 3.2 to 79.8 ± 2.4 which is in favor of cellular attachment and activity. The obtained results revealed that PLGA/TiO2 scaffolds significantly improved osteoblast proliferation compared to pure PLGA (p < 0.05). Furthermore, osteoblasts cultured on PLGA/TiO2 nanocomposite showed significantly higher ALP activity and improved calcium secretion compared to pure PLGA scaffolds (p < 0.05).