This work reports the versatility of polydopamine (PD) when applied as a particle coating in a composite of polylactide (PLA). Polydopamine was observed to increase the particle-matrix interface strength and facilitate the adsorption of drugs to the material surface. Here, barium sulfate radiopaque particles were functionalized with polydopamine and integrated into a polylactide matrix, leading to the formulation of a biodegradable and X-ray opaque material with enhanced mechanical properties. Polydopamine functionalized barium sulfate particles also facilitated the adsorption and release of the antibiotic levofloxacin. Analysis of the antibacterial capacity of these composites and the metabolic activity and proliferation of human dermal fibroblasts in vitro demonstrated that these materials are non-cytotoxic and can be 3D printed to formulate complex biocompatible materials for bone fixation devices.
Keywords: 3D-printing; antibiotic; barium sulfate; biodegradable; composite; levofloxacin; melt processing; polydopamine; polylactide; scaffolds; template.