In vitro characterization of 3D printed scaffolds aimed at bone tissue regeneration

João C. Boga, Sónia P. Miguel, Duarte de Melo-Diogo, António G. Mendonça, Ricardo O. Louro, Ilídio J. Correia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The incidence of fractures and bone-related diseases like osteoporosis has been increasing due to aging of the world's population. Up to now, grafts and titanium implants have been the principal therapeutic approaches used for bone repair/regeneration. However, these types of treatment have several shortcomings, like limited availability, risk of donor-to-recipient infection and tissue morbidity. To overcome these handicaps, new 3D templates, capable of replicating the features of the native tissue, are currently being developed by researchers from the area of tissue engineering. These 3D constructs are able to provide a temporary matrix on which host cells can adhere, proliferate and differentiate. Herein, 3D cylindrical scaffolds were designed to mimic the natural architecture of hollow bones, and to allow nutrient exchange and bone neovascularization. 3D scaffolds were produced with tricalcium phosphate (TCP)/alginic acid (AA) using a Fab@home 3D printer. Furthermore, graphene oxide (GO) was incorporated into the structure of some scaffolds to further enhance their mechanical properties. The results revealed that the scaffolds incorporating GO displayed greater porosity, without impairing their mechanical properties. These scaffolds also presented a controlled swelling profile, enhanced biomineralization capacity and were able to increase the Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) activity. Such characteristics make TCP/AA scaffolds functionalized with GO promising 3D constructs for bone tissue engineering applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • 3D printing
  • Bone tissue engineering
  • Cylindrical hybrid scaffolds
  • Graphene oxide
  • Rapid prototyping


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