Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.545, 104-115, 2019
Facile preparation of bioactive nanoparticle/poly(epsilon-caprolactone) hierarchical porous scaffolds via 3D printing of high internal phase Pickering emulsions
Bioactive and biocompatible scaffolds possessing hierarchical porous structures and tunable multi-functional performance have attracted increasing interest in the biomedical field, especially in bone tissue engineering. In this work, we report a convenient and effective approach to construct bioactive nanoparticle/poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (BNPCL) scaffolds with hierarchical porous structures based on solvent evaporation of 3D printed water-in-oil high internal phase emulsion (HIPE) templates, containing hydrophobically modified hydroxyapatite and silica nanoparticles in the oil phase. The hierarchical porous structures consist of mm-scale macropores formed by 3D printing and mu m-scale micropores from HIPE templates. The micropore structures and mechanical properties of BNPCL scaffolds are easily tailored by varying the preparation conditions of the H1PE templates. An in vitro biomineralization study shows that BNPCL scaffolds possess excellent bioactivity because of effective formation of apatite particles on them. Moreover, the in vitro drug release studies using ibuprofen display the potential of BNPCL scaffolds as drug carriers. Furthermore, cell culture assays prove that BNPCL scaffolds have good cytocompatibility to effectively support cell adhesion, growth and proliferation. All the results imply that combining solvent evaporation with 3D printing of HIPE templates is a promising alternative approach to fabricate hierarchical porous scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications. Crown Copyright (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.