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Processing and properties of PLA/Mg filaments for 3D printing of scaffolds for biomedical applications

Cristina Pascual-González (IMDEA Materials Institute, Madrid, Spain)
Cillian Thompson (IMDEA Materials Institute, Madrid, Spain and Department of Material Science and Engineering, University Carlos III of Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Jimena de la Vega (IMDEA Materials Institute, Madrid, Spain)
Nicolás Biurrun Churruca (Department of Materials Science, E.T.S. de Ingenieros de Caminos, Polytechnic University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Juan P. Fernández-Blázquez (IMDEA Materials Institute, Madrid, Spain)
Iker Lizarralde (IMDEA Materials Institute, Madrid, Spain; Hexcel Composites S.L., Madrid, Spain and Polytechnic University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Diego Herráez-Molinero (Polytechnic University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Carlos González (IMDEA Materials Institute, Madrid, Spain and Polytechnic University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Javier LLorca (IMDEA Materials Institute, Madrid, Spain and Polytechnic University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 3 December 2021

Issue publication date: 5 May 2022

679

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a novel strategy to manufacture poly-lactic acid (PLA) filaments reinforced with Mg particles for fused filament fabrication of porous scaffolds for biomedical applications.

Design/methodology/approach

The mixture of PLA pellets and Mg particles was extruded twice, the second time using a precision extruder that produces a filament with zero porosity, constant diameter and homogeneous dispersion of Mg particles. The physico-chemical properties of the extruded filaments were carefully analysed to determine the influence of Mg particles on the depolymerisation of PLA during high temperature extrusion and the optimum melt flow index to ensure printability.

Findings

It was found that the addition of a polyethylene glycol (PEG) plasticizer was necessary to allow printing when the weight fraction of Mg was above 4%. It was possible to print porous face-centre cubic scaffolds with good geometrical accuracy and minimum porosity with composite filaments containing PEG.

Originality/value

The new strategy is easily scalable and seems to be very promising to manufacture biodegradable thermoplastic/metal composite filaments for 3D printing that can take advantage of the different properties of both components from the viewpoint of tissue engineering.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This investigation was supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the European Training Network BioImpant (Development of improved bioresorbable materials for orthopaedic and vascular implant applications), Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement 813869. Additional support from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation through the project ADDICOMP (grant RTI2018-094435-B-C33) is gratefully acknowledged.

Citation

Pascual-González, C., Thompson, C., de la Vega, J., Biurrun Churruca, N., Fernández-Blázquez, J.P., Lizarralde, I., Herráez-Molinero, D., González, C. and LLorca, J. (2022), "Processing and properties of PLA/Mg filaments for 3D printing of scaffolds for biomedical applications", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 884-894. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-06-2021-0152

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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