Skull surgery, also known as craniectomy, is done to treat trauma or brain diseases and may require the use of an implant to reestablish skull integrity. This study investigates the performance of 3D printed bone implants in a mouse model of craniectomy with the aim of making biodegradable porous implants that can ultimately be fitted to a patient's anatomy. A nonpolymeric thermoplastic bioink composed of fatty acids and β-tricalcium phosphate was used to 3D print the skull implants. Some of these were sintered to yield pure β-tricalcium phosphate implants. The performance of nonsintered and sintered implants was then compared in two semi-quantitative murine calvarial defect models using computed tomography, histology, and luciferase activity. Both types of implants were biocompatible, but only sintered implants promoted defect healing, with osseointegration to adjacent bone and the formation of new bone and bone marrow tissue in the implant pores. Luciferase scanning and histology showed that mesenchymal stem cells seeded onto the implants engraft and proliferate on the implants after implantation and contribute to forming bone. The experiments indicate that fatty acid-based 3D printing enables the creation of biocompatible and bone-forming β-tricalcium phosphate implants.
|Journal||Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2020|
- 3D printing
- additive manufacturing
- regenerative medicine
- tissue engineering
- tricalcium phosphate