Using additive manufacturing, we have produced scaffolds that mimic the natural extracellular matrix of bone (architecture, biochemistry and mechanical properties) and act as temporary molds to guide the regeneration of bone. A composite matrix composed of poly(lactic acid) (PLA)-tricalcium ²-phosphate (TCP) (90-10 wt%) have been modified with 1, 5 and 10 wt% of SiO2, ZnO and CeO2 to enhance the material's bioactivity, to promote the differentiation of stem cells towards osteoblasts and to impart bactericidal property. Filaments were prepared in the melted state using a twin-screw extruder and used to print scaffolds by fused filament fabrication (FFF). Both filaments and scaffolds have been characterized in the Department of Materials Engineering (DEMa-UFSCar), in relation to their structural, thermal, rheological and mechanical behavior, as presented in the past reports. Some initial biological assays have been performed in the Department of Physiological Sciences-UFSCar. During the internship at the University of Central Florida (UCF), the biological characterization with cell and bacteria will be deeper investigated by an extensive number of techniques available at Professor Sudipta Seal' laboratory, as programmed in the initial research project.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: