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Functionally graded PCL/β-TCP biocomposites in a multilayered structure for bone tissue regeneration


Functionally graded (FG) composites consisting of polycaprolactone (PCL) and beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) particles were fabricated with a multilayered structure using a melt plotter with a two-heating-barrel system. Using this process, the concentration of β-TCP particles varied in each layered strut. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy mapping of calcium on the fabricated scaffolds indicated that the β-TCP particles were well distributed in each PCL strut, according to conceptual design. By incorporating β-TCP, the FG-PCL/β-TCP scaffolds had meaningful increases in water absorption (30 % increase) and showed good mechanical properties, although the mechanical properties are slightly low compared to pure PCL/β-TCP composite. We performed biological assessments to evaluate the capability of these FG scaffolds to act as a biomaterial for bone tissue regeneration with osteoblast-like cells (MG63). SEM images of cell-seeded FG scaffolds showed that the concentrated β-TCP struts were affected as good cell attachment/proliferation sites. Additionally, calcium deposition on the FG scaffolds was higher than that of normal scaffolds after 14 days. In particular, we observed high levels of mineralization in the highly concentrated β-TCP struts in the FG scaffolds. Based on these results, we believe that the FG scaffolds having various spatially designed structures with graded properties will be widely applicable for hard tissue engineering applications.

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Correspondence to GeunHyung Kim.

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Kim, Y.B., Kim, G. Functionally graded PCL/β-TCP biocomposites in a multilayered structure for bone tissue regeneration. Appl. Phys. A 108, 949–959 (2012).

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  • Water Contact Angle
  • MG63 Cell
  • Functionally Grade
  • Middle Area
  • Bone Tissue Regeneration