Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on restoring and repairing tissues or organs. Cells, scaffolds, and biomolecules are recognized as three main components of tissue engineering. Solid freeform fabrication (SFF) technology is required to fabricate three-dimensional (3D) porous scaffolds to provide a 3D environment for cellular activity. SFF technology is especially advantageous for achieving a fully interconnected, porous scaffold. Bone morphogenic protein-2 (BMP-2), an important biomolecule, is widely used in bone tissue engineering to enhance bone regeneration activity. However, methods for the direct incorporation of intact BMP-2 within 3D scaffolds are rare. In this work, 3D porous scaffolds with poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) chemically grafted hyaluronic acid (HA-PLGA), in which intact BMP-2 was directly encapsulated, were successfully fabricated using SFF technology. BMP-2 was previously protected by poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), and the BMP-2/PEG complex was incorporated in HA-PLGA using an organic solvent. The HAPLGA/PEG/BMP-2 mixture was dissolved in chloroform and deposited via a multi-head deposition system (MHDS), one type of SFF technology, to fabricate a scaffold for tissue engineering. An additional air blower system and suction were installed in the MHDS for the solvent-based fabrication method. An in vitro evaluation of BMP-2 release was conducted, and prolonged release of intact BMP-2, for up to 28 days, was confirmed. After confirmation of advanced proliferation of pre osteoblasts, a superior differentiation effect of the HA-PLGA/PEG/BMP-2 scaffold was validated by measuring high expression levels of bone-specific markers, such as alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and osteocalcin (OC). We show that our solvent-based fabrication is a non-toxic method for restoring cellular activity. Moreover, the HAPLGA/PEG/BMP-2 scaffold was effective for bone regeneration.

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