Biopolymeric 3D printed implantable scaffolds as a potential adjuvant treatment for acute post-operative pain management

Aikaterini Dedeloudi, Laura Martinez-Marcos, Thomas Quinten, Sune Andersen, Dimitrios A. Lamprou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Pain is characterized as a major symptom induced by tissue damage occurring from surgical procedures, whose potency is being experienced subjectively, while current pain relief strategies are not always efficient in providing individualized treatment. 3D printed implantable devices hold the potential to offer a precise and customized medicinal approach, targeting both tissue engineering and drug delivery.

Research design and methods
Polycaprolactone (PCL) and PCL – chitosan (CS) composite scaffolds loaded with procaine (PRC) were fabricated by bioprinting. Geometrical features including dimensions, pattern, and infill of the scaffolds were mathematically optimized and digitally determined, aiming at developing structurally uniform 3D printed models. Printability studies based on thermal imaging of the bioprinting system were performed, and physicochemical, surface, and mechanical attributes of the extruded scaffolds were evaluated. The release rate of PRC was examined at different time intervals up to 1 week.

Physicochemical stability and mechanical integrity of the scaffolds were studied, while in vitro drug release studies revealed that CS contributes to the sustained release dynamic of PRC.

The printing extrusion process was capable of developing implantable devices for a local and sustained delivery of PRC as a 7-day adjuvant regimen in post-operative pain management.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Early online date30 Mar 2024
Publication statusEarly online date - 30 Mar 2024


  • 3D printing
  • biopolymers
  • chitosan
  • drug delivery systems
  • implantable scaffolds
  • printability
  • polycaprolactone
  • thermal imaging


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