Multifunctional scaffolds for biomedical applications: Crafting versatile solutions with polycaprolactone enriched by graphene oxide

G. Friggeri, Irene Moretti, F. Amato, A. G. Marrani, Francesca Sciandra, S. G. Colombarolli, A. Vitali, S. Viscuso, A. Augello, Lishan Cui, Giordano Perini, Marco De Spirito, Massimiliano Papi*, V. Palmieri

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The pressing need for multifunctional materials in medical settings encompasses a wide array of scenarios, necessitating specific tissue functionalities. A critical challenge is the occurrence of biofouling, particularly by contamination in surgical environments, a common cause of scaffolds impairment. Beyond the imperative to avoid infections, it is also essential to integrate scaffolds with living cells to allow for tissue regeneration, mediated by cell attachment. Here, we focus on the development of a versatile material for medical applications, driven by the diverse time-definite events after scaffold implantation. We investigate the potential of incorporating graphene oxide (GO) into polycaprolactone (PCL) and create a composite for 3D printing a scaffold with time-controlled antibacterial and anti-adhesive growth properties. Indeed, the as-produced PCL-GO scaffold displays a local hydrophobic effect, which is translated into a limitation of biological entities-attachment, including a diminished adhesion of bacteriophages and a reduction of E. coli and S. aureus adhesion of ∼81% and ∼69%, respectively. Moreover, the ability to 3D print PCL-GO scaffolds with different heights enables control over cell distribution and attachment, a feature that can be also exploited for cellular confinement, i.e., for microfluidics or wound healing applications. With time, the surface wettability increases, and the scaffold can be populated by cells. Finally, the presence of GO allows for the use of infrared light for the sterilization of scaffolds and the disruption of any bacteria cell that might adhere to the more hydrophilic surface. Overall, our results showcase the potential of PCL-GO as a versatile material for medical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)016115-016115
Number of pages1
JournalAPL Bioengineering
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • 3D printing
  • Biomaterials
  • Graphene
  • Tissue engineering


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