Melt-extrusion 3D printing of resorbable levofloxacin-loaded meshes: emerging strategy for urogynaecological applications

Francesca Corduas, Essyrose Mathew, Ruairi McGlynn, Davide Mariotti, Dimitrios A. Lamprou*, Elena Mancuso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Current surgical strategies for the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunctions involve the placement of a polypropylene mesh into the pelvic cavity. However, polypropylene meshes have proven to have inadequate mechanical properties and have been associated to the arising of severe complications, such as infections. Furthermore, currently employed manufacturing strategies are unable to produce compliant and customisable devices. In this work, polycaprolactone has been used to produce resorbable levofloxacin-loaded meshes in two different designs (90° and 45°) via melt-extrusion 3D printing. Drug-loaded meshes were produced using a levofloxacin concentration of 0.5% w/w. Drug loaded meshes were successfully produced with highly reproducible mechanical and physico-chemical properties. Tensile test results showed that drug-loaded 45° meshes possessed a mechanical behaviour close to those of the vaginal tissue (E in the range of 8.32 ±1.85 MPa), even after 4 weeks of accelerated degradation. Meshes released the 80% of the loaded levofloxacin in the first 3 days and were capable to produce an inhibitory effect against S. Aureus and E. coli bacterial strains with an inhibition zone equal to 12.8±0.45 mm and 15.8±0.45 mm respectively. Thus, the strategy adopted in this work holds great promise for the manufacturing of custom-made surgical meshes with antibacterial properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112523
Number of pages13
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C: Materials for Biological Applications
Early online date05 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2021


  • 3D printing
  • surgical meshes
  • antibacterial devices
  • drug delivery
  • pelvic organ prolapse
  • stress urinary incontinence


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