The aim of this study was to investigate whether the mineral trioxide aggregate/polycaprolactone (MTA/PCL) hybrid 3-dimensional (3D) scaffold supplies a suitable microenvironment for the osteogenic differentiation of human dental pulp cells (hDPCs) and to further consider the effect of the MTA/PCL composite on the biological performance of hybrid scaffolds.Methods
MTA was suspended in absolute alcohol and dropped slowly into PCL that was generated with the printable MTA-matrix. Then, the MTA/PCL composite was prepared into highly uniform scaffolds with controlled macropore sizes and structure using a 3D printing technique. Mechanical properties and the apatite precipitation of the scaffolds were evaluated as well as the cell response to the scaffolds by culturing hDPCs.Results
The results showed that the MTA/PCL 3D scaffold had uniform, 450-μm, high-porosity (70%) macropores and a compressive strength of 4.5 MPa. In addition, the MTA/PCL scaffold could effectively promote the adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation of hDPCs.Conclusions
The 3D-printed MTA/PCL scaffolds not only exhibited excellent physical and chemical properties but also enhanced osteogenesis differentiation. All of the results support the premise that this MTA/PCL porous scaffold would be a useful biomaterial for application in bone tissue engineering.