Poly-ε-Caprolactone 3D-Printed Porous Scaffold in a Femoral Condyle Defect Model Induces Early Osteo-Regeneration

Arianna De Mori, Aikaterina Karali, Evangelos Daskalakis, Richard Hing, Paulo Jorge Da Silva Bartolo, Glen Cooper, Gordon Blunn

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Large bone reconstruction following trauma poses significant challenges for reconstructive surgeons, leading to a healthcare burden for health systems, long-term pain for patients, and complex disorders such as infections that are difficult to resolve. The use of bone substitutes is suboptimal for substantial bone loss, as they induce localized atrophy and are generally weak, and unable to support load. A combination of strong polycaprolactone (PCL)-based scaffolds, with an average channel size of 330 µm, enriched with 20% w/ w of hydroxyapatite (HA), β-tricalcium phosphate (TCP), or Bioglass 45S5 (Bioglass), has been developed and tested for bone regeneration in a critical-size ovine femoral condyle defect model. After 6 weeks, tissue ingrowth was analyzed using X-ray computed tomography (XCT), Backscattered Electron Microscopy (BSE), and histomorphometry. At this point, all materials promoted new bone formation. Histological analysis showed no statistical difference among the different biomaterials ( p > 0.05), but PCL-Bioglass scaffolds enhanced bone formation in the center of the scaffold more than the other types of materials. These materials show potential to promote bone regeneration in critical-sized defects on load-bearing sites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number66
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2023


  • polycaprolactone
  • hydroxyapatite
  • Bioglass
  • beta-tricalcium phosphate
  • three-dimensional printing
  • bone tissue engineering
  • in vivo
  • UKRI
  • EP/R015139/1

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