Composite Graded Melt Electrowritten Scaffolds for Regeneration of the Periodontal Ligament-to-Bone Interface

Nasim Golafshan, Miguel Castilho, Arwa Daghrery, Morteza Alehosseini, Tom van de Kemp, Konstantinos Krikonis, Mylene de Ruijter, Renan Dal-Fabbro, Alireza Dolatshahi-Pirouz, Sarit B. Bhaduri, Marco C. Bottino, and Jos Malda

Published: 2022


Periodontitis is a ubiquitous chronic inflammatory, bacteria-triggered oral disease affecting the adult population. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to severe tissue destruction, eventually resulting in tooth loss. Despite previous efforts in clinically managing the disease, therapeutic strategies are still lacking. Herein, melt electrowriting (MEW) is utilized to develop a compositionally and structurally tailored graded scaffold for regeneration of the periodontal ligament-to-bone interface. The composite scaffolds, consisting of fibers of polycaprolactone (PCL) and fibers of PCL-containing magnesium phosphate (MgP) were fabricated using MEW. To maximize the bond between bone (MgP) and ligament (PCL) regions, we evaluated two different fiber architectures in the interface area. These were a crosshatch pattern at a 0/90° angle and a random pattern. MgP fibrous scaffolds were able to promote in vitro bone formation even in culture media devoid of osteogenic supplements. Mechanical properties after MgP incorporation resulted in an increase of the elastic modulus and yield stress of the scaffolds, and fiber orientation in the interfacial zone affected the interfacial toughness. Composite graded MEW scaffolds enhanced bone fill when they were implanted in an in vivo periodontal fenestration defect model in rats. The presence of an interfacial zone allows coordinated regeneration of multitissues, as indicated by higher expression of bone, ligament, and cementoblastic markers compared to empty defects. Collectively, MEW-fabricated scaffolds having compositionally and structurally tailored zones exhibit a good mimicry of the periodontal complex, with excellent regenerative capacity and great potential as a defect-specific treatment strategy.

Full Access Link: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces