Biodegradability-controlled Polymers for 3D Printed POP Scaffolds

Y. Zhu, K. Song
Arizona State University,
United States

Keywords: POP, scaffolds, biodegradability


Pelvic floor prolapse (POP) is a disorder bothering a growing number of women with overweight, children delivery, and aging. A sedentary lifestyle and longer life expectancy increase the risk of this dysfunction (e.g., 25% of women in the U.S.). Re-classifying the current polypropylene or polystyrene mesh as a high-risk device by FDA is announcing the urgent need for new biocompatible materials for reconstructive surgeries. Therefore, in our research, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) was functionalized to adapt to direct ink writing as a biocompatible polymer. The thiol-norbornene UV-initiated reaction was the key to the sol-gel transition during the printing, where the rheology properties changed rapidly to maintain the printed geometry. In addition, rapid prototyping can adjust the scaffolds' morphology and pore size to benefit tissue growth. The biocompatibility was proven by the cell proliferation test, which can potentially change the immune response compared to traditional materials. Besides, post-printing treatment further increased the crosslink density of the scaffold so that a proper degradation rate was obtained. Consequently, mechanical support would be valid during the neotissue growth, and removal surgery is unnecessary. This research offers a new solution to POP by applying a more bioactive material and sheds light on personalized medicine with additive manufacturing.