A New Bone Substitute Developed from 3D-Prints of Polylactide (PLA) Loaded with Collagen I: An In Vitro Study

Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Nov 29;18(12):2569. doi: 10.3390/ijms18122569.


Although a lot of research has been performed, large segmental bone defects caused by trauma, infection, bone tumors or revision surgeries still represent big challenges for trauma surgeons. New and innovative bone substitutes are needed. Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a novel procedure to create 3D porous scaffolds that can be used for bone tissue engineering. In the present study, solid discs as well as porous cage-like 3D prints made of polylactide (PLA) are coated or filled with collagen, respectively, and tested for biocompatibility and endotoxin contamination. Microscopic analyses as well as proliferation assays were performed using various cell types on PLA discs. Stromal-derived factor (SDF-1) release from cages filled with collagen was analyzed and the effect on endothelial cells tested. This study confirms the biocompatibility of PLA and demonstrates an endotoxin contamination clearly below the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) limit. Cells of various cell types (osteoblasts, osteoblast-like cells, fibroblasts and endothelial cells) grow, spread and proliferate on PLA-printed discs. PLA cages loaded with SDF-1 collagen display a steady SDF-1 release, support cell growth of endothelial cells and induce neo-vessel formation. These results demonstrate the potential for PLA scaffolds printed with an inexpensive desktop printer in medical applications, for example, in bone tissue engineering.

Keywords: 3D-printing; angiogenesis; biocompatibility; collagen; osteogenesis; polylactide.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Regeneration / physiology
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Chemokine CXCL12 / metabolism
  • Collagen Type I / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Osteogenesis / physiology
  • Polyesters / chemistry*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry


  • CXCL12 protein, human
  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Collagen Type I
  • Polyesters
  • poly(lactide)