The aim of this study was to fabricate biodegradable poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) bone screws containing iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles, which are radiopaque and 3D-printable. The PLLA composites were fabricated by loading 20%, 30%, and 40% Fe3O4 nanoparticles into the PLLA. The physical properties, including elastic modulus, thermal properties, and biocompatibility of the composites were tested. The 20% nano-Fe3O4/PLLA composite was used as the material for fabricating the 3D-printed bone screws. The mechanical performance of the nano-Fe3O4/PLLA bone screws was evaluated by anti-bending and anti-torque strength tests. The tissue response and radiopacity of the nano-Fe3O4/PLLA bone screws were assessed by histologic and CT imaging studies using an animal model. The addition of nano-Fe3O4 increased the crystallization of the PLLA composites. Furthermore, the 20% nano-Fe3O4/PLLA composite exhibited the highest thermal stability compared to the other Fe3O4 proportions. The 3D-printed bone screws using the 20% nano-Fe3O4/PLLA composite provided excellent local tissue response. In addition, the radiopacity of the 20% nano-Fe3O4/PLLA screw was significantly better compared with the neat PLLA screw.

Original languageEnglish
Article number191
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017


  • 3D printed bone screw
  • Iron oxide nanoparticles
  • Poly-L-lactic acid
  • Radiopaque polymer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics


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