3D printing is a versatile technique widely applied in tissue engineering due to its ability to manufacture large quantities of scaffolds or constructs with various desired architectures. In this study, we demonstrated that poly (lactic acid) (PLA) scaffolds fabricated via fused deposition not only retained the original interconnected microporous architectures, the scaffolds also exhibited lower lactic acid dissolution as compared to the freeze-PLA scaffold. The 3D-printed scaffolds were then grafted with human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) via the actions of polydopamine (PDA) coatings. The loading and release rate of BMP-2 were monitored for a period of 35 days. Cellular behaviors and osteogenic activities of co-cultured human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) were assessed to determine for efficacies of scaffolds. In addition, we demonstrated that our fabricated scaffolds were homogenously coated with PDA and well grafted with BMP-2 (219.1 ± 20.4 ng) when treated with 250 ng/mL of BMP-2 and 741.4 ± 127.3 ng when treated with 1000 ng/mL of BMP-2. This grafting enables BMP-2 to be released in a sustained profile. From the osteogenic assay, it was shown that the ALP activity and osteocalcin of hMSCs cultured on BMP-2/PDA/PLA were significantly higher when compared with PLA and PDA/PLA scaffolds. The methodology of PDA coating employed in this study can be used as a simple model to immobilize multiple growth factors onto different 3D-printed scaffold substrates. Therefore, there is potential for generation of scaffolds with different unique modifications with different capabilities in regulating physiochemical and biological properties for future applications in bone tissue engineering.
JOURNAL OF MATERIALS SCIENCE-MATERIALS IN MEDICINE