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The preliminary performance study of the 3D printing of a tricalcium phosphate scaffold for the loading of sustained release anti-tuberculosis drugs


In the surgical treatment of tuberculosis of the bones, excision of the lesion site leaves defects in the bone structure. Recent research has shown benefits for bone tissue support, such as tricalcium phosphate, as regrowth materials. These biocompatible engineering materials have good bone inductivity and biologic mechanical performance. The goal of this study was to evaluate the use of 3D printing, a new technology, to design and build 3-dimensional support structures for use in grafting at lesion sites and for use in embedding the sustained release anti-tuberculosis drugs Rifampin and Isoniazid and determine the in vivo performance of these structures. In addition to mechanical studies, osteogenesis, cell viability, and migration were all observed, using Wistar rat models, to determine the effectiveness of this material as a biological support. The bone support showed good resistance to compression, similar to the spongiest bone tissue, and high porosity. In vivo studies showed that the material had a stable time release of Rifampin and Isoniazid through 90 days and achieved effective killing of the tuberculosis-causing bacteria. Finally, the support allowed for good migration and survival of rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, leading to successful bone regrowth and repair. These results imply that the use of 3D printing of tricalcium phosphate scaffolds for bone excision repair and time-release treatment of tuberculosis shows great promise for future treatment of patients with tuberculosis of the bones.

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The authors wish to thank the Lanzhou Military Region General Hospital Orthopedics Research Institute and Professor Zhen Ping. This study was funded by the National Natural Sciences Fund (81371983).

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Correspondence to Ping Zhen.

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Yuan, J., Zhen, P., Zhao, H. et al. The preliminary performance study of the 3D printing of a tricalcium phosphate scaffold for the loading of sustained release anti-tuberculosis drugs. J Mater Sci 50, 2138–2147 (2015).

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  • Sustained Release
  • Simulated Body Fluid
  • Scaffold Material
  • Orthogonal Experimental Design
  • Calcium Phosphate Bone Cement