1, Biomedical Engineering, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States
3, Orthopaedic Oncology, Cooper University Health Care, Camden, New Jersey, United States
4, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States
Graphene based medical implants have sparked widespread interests in the field of 3 D bioprinting due to its anti-microbial nature, very large aspect ratio associated with its 2D structures, and its ability to form functionally graded printable structures with polymers. Here we explore the 3 D printing of Poly L-lactic acid/Graphene oxide (PLA/GO) nano-composite for its anti-microbial property as bone implant and scaffold for bone cell proliferation. The nanocomposites were prepared through FDM (Fused deposition modelling) and our laboratory built LDM (Liquid deposition modelling) 3D printing. GO was dispersed in 1,4 dioxane using ultrasonication followed by dissolving PLA in the GO dispersions. LDM utilized the viscosity driven controlled stretching of the PLA/GO solution to print the solid structural form onto a heated bed that vaporizes the solvent and leaves behind the required structure. For the FDM process, the nano-composite was fed in the form of a filament. We utilized the dried and powdered form of the nano-composites to form the essential PLA/GO filaments structures using the filament extruder. We plan to integrate electrostatic jetting of PLA/GO nanocomposites through the micro nozzle using FDM system for attaining controlled porosity and microstructure, thereby closely mimicking the bone microenvironment. Anti-microbial activity of GO was measured with staphylococcus aureus, 60% reduction of bacterial growth was achieved.