Abstract

AbstractPolycaprolactone fumarate (PCLF) is a cross‐linkable PCL derivative extensively considered for tissue engineering applications. Although injection molding has been widely used to develop PCLF scaffolds, platforms developed using such technique lack precise control on architecture, design, and porosity required to ensure adequate cellular and tissue responses. In particular, the scaffolds should provide a suitable surface for cell attachment and proliferation, and facilitate cell–cell communication and nutrient flow. 3D printing technologies have led to new architype for biomaterial development with micro‐architecture mimicking native tissue. Here, we developed a method for 3D printing of PCLF structures using the extrusion printing technique. The crosslinking property of PCLF enabled the unique post‐processing of 3D printed scaffolds resulting in highly porous and flexible PCLF scaffolds with compressive properties imitating natural features of cancellous bone. Generated scaffolds supported excellent attachment and proliferation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). The high porosity of PCLF scaffolds facilitated vascularized membrane formation demonstrable with the stringency of the ex ovo chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) implantation. Furthermore, upon implantation to rat calvarium defects, PCLF scaffolds enabled an exceptional new bone formation with a bone mineral density of newly formed bone mirroring native bone tissue. These studies suggest that the 3D‐printed highly porous PCLF scaffolds may serve as a suitable biomaterial platform to significantly expand the utility of the PCLF biomaterial for bone tissue engineering applications.

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