Effect of Graphene Addition on Polycaprolactone Scaffolds Fabricated Using Melt-Electrowriting
Melt-electrowriting (MEW) is an emerging method that combines electrospinning and extrusion printing, allowing the fabrication of micron-scale structures suitable for tissue engineering. Compared to other additive fabrication methods, melt-electro written structures can offer more appropriate substrates for cell culture due to filament size and mechanical characteristics of the fabricated scaffolds. In this study, polycaprolactone (PCL)/graphene composites were investigated for fabrication of micron-size scaffolds through MEW. It was demonstrated that the addition of graphene can considerably improve the processability of PCL to fabricate micron-scale scaffolds with enhanced resolution. The tensile strength of the scaffold prepared from PCL/graphene composite (with only 0.5 wt.% graphene) was proved significantly (by more than 270%), better than that of the pristine PCL scaffold. Furthermore, graphene was demonstrated to be a suitable material for tailoring the degradation process to avoid undesirable bulk degradation, rapid mass loss and damage to the internal matrix of the polymer. The findings of this study offer a promising route for the fabrication of high-resolution scaffolds with micron-scale resolution for tissue engineering.
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Australian National Fabrication Facility