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3D bio-printed chitosan networks for dental applications

Dental, bacterial diseases such as periodontitis can lead to tooth and bone loss. In the study presented here, chitosan, gelatine and Scutellariae baicalensis radix were combined to form a hydrogel to produce an anti-inflammatory implant using 3D bioprinting.



3D-printed chitosan-based scaffolds with Scutellariae baicalensis extract for dental applications

Paczkowska-Walendowska, M.; Koumentakou, I.; Lazaridou, M.; Bikiaris, D.; Miklaszewski, A.; Plech, T.; Cielecka-Piontek, J. 3D-Printed Chitosan-Based Scaffolds with Scutellariae baicalensis Extract for Dental Applications. Pharmaceutics 2024, 16, 359.

Periodontal diseases affect up to 20 - 50% of people worldwide. These are bacterial inflammations that can lead to gingival recession and, in the worst case, to the loss of teeth and aveolar bone. Current treatment options are limited, which is why new therapies are urgently needed. One option is the implantation of 3D bio-printed scaffolds, which have a suitable structure to promote cell adhesion and growth of local stem cells and regenerate the tissue. They should also have an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect.

Chitosan is a suitable material for this purpose. Due to its unique properties such as good biocompatibility, biodegradability, anti-inflammatory, hemostatic and antibacterial effects, chitosan is already used for periodontal diseases, but is also frequently used in tissue engineering. However, chitosan has poor mechanical stability, which is why it is often mixed with other biopolymers in bioprinting, e.g. gelatin. Gelatin is a component of the extracellular matrix and therefore has a positive effect on cell adhesion and growth and, like chitosan, has very good biocompatibility. Due to their opposing charges, the two polymers form a polyelectrolyte complex. This improves mechanical stability and at the same time influences cell adhesion, cellular bioactivity, the process of tissue remodeling and ultimately the quality of the regenerated tissue. To obtain additional anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, plant-based active ingredients such as an extract of Scutellariae baicalensis radix (“Baikal hood root”), which is rich in baicalin, baicalein and wogonin, can be added.

In the study presented here, networks of a hydrogel consisting of chitosan, gelatin and S. baicalensis radix extract are to be produced using 3D bioprinting in order to combine the properties of the three components. The produced scaffolds were tested for their printability and biological properties. A chitosan with a high viscosity (800-2000 mPas) and a degree of deacetylation of ≥ 75 % was used. You can find chitosans inside this range in our online shop.


  • The hydrogel with 2.5 % w/v chitosan, 2 % w/v gelatin and 10 % Scutellariae baicalensis radix extract showed the best printing properties
  • Detection of the formation of hydrogen bonds between the components with FTIR and XRPD
  • Rapid initial release of baicalin in vitro
  • Evidence of anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the enzyme hyaluronidase, through the combination of chitosan and Scutellariae baicalensis radix extract
  • Proof of acceleration of the wound healing process after 24 h in vitro

Summary: The 3D meshes of chitosan, gelatin and Scutellariae baicalensis radix extract obtained in the study showed an anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, they exhibited good dimensional stability after 3D bioprinting, which is ideal for long-term release of active ingredients, good wound healing ability and high biocompatibility.

Link to article:

drug delivery, chitosan, hydrogels, tissue engineering, 3D Bioprinting

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