Bone implants are usually prepared from titanium which is biocompatible and highly resilient, but differs from bone tissue with respect to Young's modulus, resulting in possible scaffold loosening under stress. A porous geometry as well as the addition of growth factors can support adjusting the Young's modulus for an adapted scaffold-shaped geometry.
In a recent project, titanium scaffolds prepared by Selective Laser Melting were coated with biodegradable (synthetic or bio-) polymers, using a dip coating process. While both coatings could be proven to be biocompatible, poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) also preserved the original porous structure of the titanium and was just preferrable as a coating to deposit and release growth factors. For PCL, additional care must be taken to decrease the residues of the solvent chloroform in order to avoid cytotoxic effects.
M. Grau, J. Matena, M. Teske, S. Petersen, P. Aliuos, L. Roland, N. Grabow, H. M. Escobar, N.-C. Gellrich, H. Haferkamp, I. Nolte
In Vitro Evaluation of PCL and P(3HB) as Coating Materials for Selective Laser Melted Porous Titanium Implants
Materials 10, 1344 (2017)