In this paper, a unique implant containing Gentamicin sulfate with biocompatible poly-lactide powders was developed by using such 3D printing (3D printing) process. The implantable drug delivery system prototypes, which were constructed with matrix structure; double-layer structure and sandwich structure, were manufactured with different processing parameters. The cross-sectional morphology of the implant was characterized by three dimensional video microscopic system and environmental scanning electron microscope. The microscopic morphologies and the in vitro releasing experiments of the implants fabricated by both 3D printing technique and conventional technique were investigated to evaluate the performance of the implant devices. At about 60-day release of the implants in vitro, the drug concentration was measured and the profiles were made. The release behavior and the microstructure were subsequently compared between the samples prepared using the 3D printing technology and the conventional technology. The as-described 3D printing technology in this work allows for the design and fabrication of implants with a sophistically micro- and macro-architecture, and thus having unambiguous advantage over the conventional technology.
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