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Antimicrobial Activity of 3D-Printed Poly(ε-Caprolactone) (PCL) Composite Scaffolds Presenting Vancomycin-Loaded Polylactic Acid-Glycolic Acid (PLGA) Microspheres

Zhi Zhou, Qingqiang Yao, Lan Li, Xin Zhang, Bo Wei, Li Yuan, Liming Wang

Department of Orthopedics, The Affiliated Huaian No. 1 People’s Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Huaian, Jiangsu, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:6934-6945

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.911770

Available online:

Published: 2018-09-30

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to design and test a novel composite scaffold with antibacterial efficacy for treating bone infections using a three-dimensional (3D) printed poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) scaffold coated with polydopamine (PDA) for the adsorption of polylactic acid-glycolic acid (PLGA) microspheres loaded with vancomycin.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Vancomycin-loaded PLGA microspheres were produced by the double-emulsion method, and microsphere morphology, drug-loading dosage, encapsulation efficiency, average diameter, and release characteristics were examined. Composite scaffolds were prepared by adsorption of the microspheres on PDA-coated, 3D-printed PCL scaffolds, and scaffold morphology, biocompatibility, vancomycin release, and antibacterial efficacy were evaluated.
RESULTS: The vancomycin-loaded microspheres were smooth, round, uniform in size, and had no adhesion phenomenon, and exhibited sustained release of vancomycin from the microspheres for more than 4 weeks. Upon modification with PDA, the PCL scaffold changed from white to black, and after microsphere adsorption, dot-like white particles were seen. On scanning electron microscopy, PDA particles were observed on the PCL/PDA composite scaffolds, and PLGA microspheres were evenly dispersed over the PDA coating on the PCL/PDA/PLGA composite scaffolds. Cell viability assays showed that the adhesion and proliferation of rabbit bone mesenchymal stem cells were greater on the PCL/PDA scaffolds than on unmodified PCL scaffolds. Microsphere adsorption had no significant effect on cell proliferation. In vitro release of vancomycin from the composite scaffolds was observed for more than 4 weeks, and observation of the inhibition zone on agar plates of Staphylococcus aureus showed that the scaffolds maintained their antibacterial effect for more than 4 weeks.
CONCLUSIONS: The 3D-printed, PDA-coated PCL scaffold carrying vancomycin-loaded PLGA microspheres exhibited good biocompatibility and a sustained antibacterial effect in vitro.

Keywords: Bone Diseases, Infectious, Microspheres, Tissue Scaffolds, Vancomycin