Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as three-dimensional printing, is an emerging technology that has revolutionized various sectors, including, manufacturing, construction and medical. Specifically in the medical sector, this technology has brought tremendous process as with its aid customized, porous and controlled geometries are easily producible through the integration of magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scan like imaging techniques. Till date, a wide variety of commercial and in-house developed biomaterials have been successfully used in biomedical and tissue engineering applications. However, very less work has been reported on the use of natural fibre (such as silk and sheep wool)-embedded biomedical structure prepared through fused deposition process (FDP). In this work, we have embedded the FDP-based polylactic acid (PLA) structures with biologically treated natural fibres. The effect of input variables (natural fibre, number of laminates, infill density and raster angle) on the mechanical characteristics of resulting structures was also studied, through design of experimentation. Mechanical testing revealed sustained scaffold stability. Selected structures were exposed to Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) epithelial fibroblast cells to compare cell ingrowth and viability. The matrices exhibited the growth of fibroblast cells which showed proliferation and differentiation in interconnected FDP specimens. Overall, this study demonstrates that embedment of natural fibre has catalyzed the reproduction of MDBK cells on PLA structures, printed with simple and economical tabletop AM system.
Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials – SAGE
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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