The development of highly biomimetic scaffolds in terms of composition and structures, to repair or replace damaged bone tissues, is particularly relevant for tissue engineering. This paper investigates a 3D printed porous scaffold containing aligned multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA), mi- micking the natural bone tissue from the nanoscale to macroscale level. MWCNTs with similar dimensions as collagen fibres are coupled with nHA and mixed within a polycaprolactone (PCL) matrix to produce scaffolds using a screw-assisted extrusion-based additive manufacturing system. Scaffolds with different material com- positions were extensively characterised from morphological, mechanical and biological points of views. Transmission electron microscopy and polarised Raman spectroscopy confirm the presence of aligned MWCNTs within the printed filaments. The PCL/HA/MWCNTs scaffold are similar to the nanostructure of native bone and shows overall increased mechanical properties, cell proliferation, osteogenic differentiation and scaffold mi- neralisation, indicating a promising approach for bone tissue regeneration.
- Additive Manufacturing
- Bone Scaffolds
- Hierarchical structures
- Multi-walled carbon nanotubes