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Combinational processing of 3D printing and electrospinning of hierarchical poly(lactic acid)/gelatin-forsterite scaffolds as a biocomposite: Mechanical and biological assessment

In this research, hierarchical scaffolds including poly(lactic acid) (PLA) micro struts and nanocomposite gelatin-forsterite fibrous layers were developed using fused deposition modeling (FDM) and electrospinning (ES), respectively. Briefly, geometrically various groups of pure PLA scaffolds (interconnected pores of 230 to 390 μm) were fabricated using FDM technique. After mechanical evaluation, ES technique was utilized to develop gelatin-forsterite nanofibrous layer. To study these scaffolds, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and uniaxial compression tests were performed. Furthermore, bioactivity of the scaffolds was evaluated by immersing in the simulated body fluid and apatite formation on the surface of the scaffolds was investigated. Results depicted that elastic modulus of PLA/gelatin-forsterite scaffolds, fabricated by a combinational approach, was significantly higher than that of pure one (about 52%). SEM images showed the formation of calcium phosphate-like precipitates on the surface of these scaffolds, confirming the effects of nanocomposite fibrous layer on the improved bioactivity of the scaffolds. Regarding the obtained biological as well as mechanical properties, the developed bio-composite scaffolds can be used as a biocompatible candidate for bone tissue regeneration.

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