3D printed biodegradable multifunctional implants for effective breast cancer treatment

Di Luca, Matteo and Hoskins, Clare and Corduas, Francesca and Onchuru, Rachel and Oluwasanmi, Adeolu and Mariotti, Davide and Conti, Bice and Lamprou, Dimitrios A. (2022) 3D printed biodegradable multifunctional implants for effective breast cancer treatment. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 629. 122363. ISSN 0378-5173 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2022.122363)

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By carefully controlling the dose administered and the drug release rate from drug-eluting implants, safety and efficacy of the therapeutic agent dispensed can be improved. The present work focuses on the promising advantages of 3D Bioprinting process in developing two layers' implantable scaffolds. The two layers have different functions, in order to ensure a more effective and synergistic breast cancer therapy. First layer involves use of polymers such as Poly- ε-Caprolactone (PCL) and Chitosan (CS), and incorporation of 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU). The aim of the first layer is releasing the drug within 4 weeks, obtaining a prolonged and modified release. According to in vitro drug release tests performed, ∼32 % of 5-FU was released after one month, after an initial burst effect of 17.22 %. The sudden release of the drug into the body would quickly reach an effective therapeutic concentration, while the drug sustained release maintains an effective therapeutic concentration range during the administration time. The second layer is made exclusively from PCL as polymeric matrix, into which Gold Nanoparticles (AuNPs) were subsequently loaded, and its main purpose is to be radiation enhancement. The long biodegradation time of PCL would make the non-soluble scaffold an alternative to conventional chemotherapy, optimizing drug release to the specific needs of the patients.