Katharina Reischle-Schedler

Katharina Reischle-Schedler

 Master student

Optimization of PCL-based Melt Electrowriting Scaffolds Containing Inorganic Filler to Increase Cell Proliferation and Antibacterial Properties


Supervisor: Sena Harmanci, Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini

Melt electrowriting (MEW) is a 3D printing technique, uniting electrohydrodynamic principles and melts extrusion which enables the fabrication of high-resolution porous scaffolds [1], [2]. Polycaprolacton (PCL) is currently considered the gold standard for MEW-scaffolds and qualifies for tissue engineering due to its mechanical properties and biocompatibility. As every tissue requires different properties, postprinting processing techniques offer the opportunity to adapt and improve the PCL-MEW-scaffolds for various applications such as soft tissue engineering [3]. In this context, bioactive glasses (BGs) are a promising candidate as they endow the PCL-MEW-scaffold with additional bioactivity, potentially increasing the scaffold degradation rate. These properties underline the suitability of BG incorporated PCL-MEW-scaffolds for wound healing applications [4]. This Master’s thesis aims to optimize the MEW process for PCL-BG composite scaffolds. Morphological studies, mechanical testing and swelling and degradation behavior studies will be conducted. In addition, biological aspects regarding cell viability will be characterised to investigate comprehensively the characteristics of MEW scaffolds for tissue engineering applications.

[1]    S. Loewner et al., “Recent advances in melt electro writing for tissue engineering for 3D printing of microporous scaffolds for tissue engineering,” Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, vol. 10, 2022. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2022.896719.

[2]    K. L. O’Neill and P. D. Dalton, “A Decade of Melt Electrowriting,” Small Methods, 2023. doi: 10.1002/smtd.202201589.

[3]    P. G. Saiz, A. Reizabal, J. L. Vilas-Vilela, P. D. Dalton, and S. Lanceros-Mendez, “Materials and Strategies to Enhance Melt Electrowriting Potential,” Advanced Materials  2024. doi: 10.1002/adma.202312084.

[4]    K. Zheng et al., “Sol-gel derived B2O3-CaO borate bioactive glasses with hemostatic, antibacterial and pro-angiogenic activities,” Regen Biomater, vol. 11, 2024, doi: 10.1093/rb/rbad105.