Case Study: Hydroxyapatite and PCL

Wikis > Case Study: Hydroxyapatite and PCL

Hydroxyapatite and polycaprolactone blends have been previously investigated as scaffolds for bone tissue engineering [1]. In addition to its biocompatibility, hydroxyapatite offers osteoconductive properties. However, with a high melting temperature and insolubility in water, hydroxyapatite presents challenges for extrusion bioprinting. When mixed with polycaprolactone, which exhibits a low melting point, the blended materials can be printed together [1]. Below are sample print parameters for a hydroxyapatite and polycaprolactone blend with the BioBot 1.

First, polycaprolactone (PCL) was melted on a glass plate at 100°C. Very carefully, 20% (w/v) hydroxyapatite was mixed into the PCL. Then, this mixture was loaded into a BioBots metal 10 ml BD syringe. A metal 27 gauge fisnar needle was placed onto the tip of the syringe and loaded into the first extruder of the BioBot 1. The extruder was then heated to 120°C. A lattice, imaged below, was completed at a pressure of 100 PSI with an approximate resolution of 0.3 – 0.4 mm.

Print Settings
Pressure (psi) Speed (mm/s) Layer height (mm) Nozzle Diam (mm) Nozzle Shape Temperature(°C)


0.5 0.2 0.3 tapered 120

img_1914 img_1909
Figures 1 and 2: Printed lattice with above parameters.

G-Code Files

biobots1_pcl_ha_lattice Printed lattice


  1. Park, Su A. Fabrication of porous polycaprolactone/hydroxyapatite (PCL/HA) blend scaffolds using a 3D plotting system for bone tissue engineering. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng. 2011 (34). pp. 505-513.