Craniomaxillofacial bone defects can occur as a result of congenital, post-oncologic, and high-energy impact conditions. The scale and irregularity of such defects motivate new biomaterials to promote regeneration of the damaged bone. We have recently described a mineralized collagen scaffold capable of instructing stem cell osteogenic differentiation and new bone infill in the absence of traditional osteogenic supplements. Herein, we report the integration of a millimeter-scale reinforcing poly (lactic acid) frame fabricated via 3D-printing into the mineralized collagen scaffold with micron-scale porosity to form a multi-scale mineralized collagen-PLA composite. We describe modifications to the PLA frame design to increase the compressive strength (Young's Modulus, ultimate stress and strain) of the composite. A critical challenge beyond increasing the compressive strength of the collagen scaffold is addressing challenges inherent with the irregularity of clinical defects. As a result, we examined the potential for modifying the frame architecture to render the composite with increased compressive strength in one axis or radial compressibility and shape-fitting capacity in an orthogonal axis. A library of mineralized collagen-PLA composites was mechanically characterized via compression testing and push-out test to describe mechanical performance and shape-fitting capacity. We also report in vitro comparison of the bioactivity of porcine adipose derived stem cells in the mineralized collagen-PLA composite versus the mineralized collagen scaffold via metabolic activity, gene expression, and functional matrix synthesis. The results suggest that incorporation of the PLA reinforcing frame does not negatively influence the osteoinductive nature of the mineralized collagen scaffold. Together, these findings suggest a strategy to address often competing bioactivity, mechanical strength, and shape-fitting design requirements for biomaterials for craniomaxillofacial bone regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-33
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Collagen
  • Conformal fitting
  • Osteogenesis
  • Poly lactic acid
  • Stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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