Biomimetic ceramic biomaterials in 3D printing and bioprinting: functionalization of bone substitutes and models

Additive manufacturing offers new perspectives to mimic the complex architecture of bone, and develop advanced bone models and substitutes. Functionalization of the construct by biomimetic nanomaterials allows to reproduce the composition of native bone, permitting better regeneration by the bone substitutes, and to modulate the behavior of cells in the models. At the same time, surface roughness and morphology at the nanoscale are fundamental to provide cues to which cells can react and that dictate their morphology, adhesion, proliferation and differentiation.

30-31 January 2025
12th edition

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For these reasons, here we investigate functionalization of 3D printed, electrospun and bioprinted constructs, by plasma-assisted deposition of nanostructured coatings (Ionized Jet Deposition) and by nanoparticles, respectively.
Calcium phosphates of different composition (stoichiometric and ion-substituted hydroxyapatite) are used for the nanoparticles and nanocoatings, to obtain different solubility and morphologies.

By these techniques, we reproduce the characteristics of the native tissue and guide its regeneration, exploiting biomimicry, morphological and compositional cues and we study their interactions with healthy (MSCs) and tumor (SAOS-2) cells, for applications in bone regeneration and modelling.

Results show that combination of additive manufacturing and nanostructured biomimetic film permits to reproduce the architecture and the mechanical and compositional characteristics of bone. For bone tumor models, the presence of the coating dictates SAOS-2 viability and capability to colonize the scaffolds. For bone regeneration, the coatings influence MSCs behavior in terms of morphology, early proliferation and differentiation. Stability behavior of the coatings, as well as MSCs behavior strongly depend on the starting CaP material, with more soluble CaPs and ion-doped ones showing better biological behavior.
For bioprinting, we show that nanoparticles-loaded scaffolds can be printed without loss in viability and that the characteristics of the inks depend on the ion-doping. The presence of the particles enhances printing fidelity and, in some cases, SAOS-2 viability at short and long timepoints (14d).

Results show the use of biomimetic nanomaterials for functionalization of additive manufacturing is a promising approach for bone modelling and regeneration.

A presentation by Gabriela Graziani, Assistant professor at Polytechnic University of Milan.

She is a materials scientist, focusing on biomimetic materials for bone regeneration. She is also the Secretary General of the European Orthopaedic Research Society, so I pursue a clinically-driven approach to foster the translation of new solutions and materials from bench to bedside.

As merging technology she sees a combination of different additive manufacturing techniques and higher focus on the use of nanomaterials and ceramics in additive manufacturing.

About Gabriela Graziani
Dr. Gabriela Graziani is a Researcher at Polytechnic University of Milan, where she studies materials science applied to orthopaedics and cultural heritage, with a focus on antibacterial, biomimetic and green materials/nanomaterials, and on additive manufacturing. She obtained her Master Degree (2012) and her PhD (2016) in Engineering at the University of Bologna. She has been researcher at Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, adjunct professor of Ceramic Materials at the University of Bologna, visiting Researcher at Princeton University and at the New York University.
She is Secretary General of the European Orthopaedic Research Society.

About Polytechnic University of Milan
Politecnico di Milano is a public scientific-technological university which trains engineers, architects and industrial designers.

The University has always focused on the quality and innovation of its teaching and research, developing a fruitful relationship with business and productive world by means of experimental research and technological transfer.

Research has always been linked to didactics and it is a priority commitment which has allowed Politecnico Milano to achieve high quality results at an international level as to join the university to the business world. Research constitutes a parallel path to that formed by cooperation and alliances with the industrial system.

Knowing the world in which you are going to work is a vital requirement for training students. By referring back to the needs of the industrial world and public administration, research is facilitated in following new paths and dealing with the need for constant and rapid innovation. The alliance with the industrial world, in many cases favored by Fondazione Politecnico and by consortiums to which Politecnico belong, allows the university to follow the vocation of the territories in which it operates and to be a stimulus for their development.

The challenge which is being met today projects this tradition which is strongly rooted in the territory beyond the borders of the country, in a relationship which is developing first of all at the European level with the objective of contributing to the creation of a single professional training market. Politecnico takes part in several research, sites and training projects collaborating with the most qualified European universities. Politecnico’s contribution is increasingly being extended to other countries: from North America to Southeast Asia to Eastern Europe. Today the drive to internationalization sees Politecnico Milano taking part into the European and world network of leading technical universities and it offers several exchange and double degree opportunities and a wide range of degree programmes entirely taught in English.

For more information visit the website.

Gabriela Graziani is speaker at the 2023 edition of the 3D Medical Conference.