School of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China; School of Biotechnology and Health Sciences, Wuyi University, Jiangmen 529020, China. Electronic address: [Email]
Implanted scaffold or bone substitute is a common method to treat bone defects. However, the possible bone infection caused by orthopaedic surgery has created a challenging clinical problem and generally invalidate bone repair and regeneration. In this study, a poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL)/polyethylene glycol (PEG)/roxithromycin (ROX) composite scaffold was prepared via melt electrohydrodynamic (EHD) 3D printing. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectroscopy was performed to verify the existence of PEG and ROX in the scaffolds. By water contact angle measurement, the addition of both PEG and ROX was found to improve the hydrophilicity of the scaffolds. By in vitro drug release assay, the PCL/PEG/ROX scaffolds showed an initial burst drug release and subsequent long-term sustained release behaviour, which is favourable for the prevention and treatment of bone infections. The antibacterial assays against E. coli and S. aureus demonstrated that the composite scaffold with ROX possessed effective antibacterial activity, especially for S. aureus, the main cause of bone infection. The immunostaining and MTT assay with human osteoblast-like cells (MG63) indicated that cells showed good viability and growth on the scaffolds. Therefore, the melt EHD 3D printed PCL/PEG/ROX scaffold could be a promising anti-infective implant for bone tissue engineering.