Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory, bacteria-triggered disorder affecting nearly half of American adults. Although some level of tissue regeneration is realized, its low success in complex cases demands superior strategies to amplify regenerative capacity. Herein, highly ordered scaffolds are engineered via Melt ElectroWriting (MEW), and the effects of strand spacing, as well as the presence of a nanostructured fluorinated calcium phosphate (F/CaP) coating on the adhesion/proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation of human-derived periodontal ligament stem cells, are investigated. Upon initial cell-scaffold interaction screening aimed at defining the most suitable design, MEW poly(ε-caprolactone) scaffolds with 500 µm strand spacing are chosen. Following an alkali treatment, scaffolds are immersed in a pre-established solution to allow for coating formation. The presence of a nanostructured F/CaP coating leads to a marked upregulation of osteogenic genes and attenuated bacterial growth. In vivo findings confirm that the F/CaP-coated scaffolds are biocompatible and lead to periodontal regeneration when implanted in a rat mandibular periodontal fenestration defect model. In aggregate, it is considered that this work can contribute to the development of personalized scaffolds capable of enabling tissue-specific differentiation of progenitor cells, and thus guide simultaneous and coordinated regeneration of soft and hard periodontal tissues, while providing antimicrobial protection.
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