Poly(ε-caprolactone) and poly(ε-caprolactone)-polyvinylpyrrolidone-iodine blends as ureteral biomaterials: Characterisation of mechanical and surface properties, degradation and resistance to encrustation in vitro
This study describes the physicochemical properties and in vitro resistance to encrustation of solvent cast films composed of either poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL), prepared using different ratios of high (50,000) to low (4000) (molecular weight) m.wt., or blends of PCL and the polymeric antimicrobial complex, poly(vinylpyrrolidone)-iodine (PVP-I). The incorporation of PVP-I offered antimicrobial activity to the biomaterials. Films were characterised in terms of mechanical (tensile analysis, dynamic mechanical thermal analysis) and surface properties (dynamic contact angle analysis, scanning electron microscopy), whereas degradation (at 37 degrees C in PBS at pH 7.4) was determined gravimetrically. The resistance of the films to encrustation was evaluated using an in vitro encrustation model. Reductions in the ratio of high:low-m.wt. PCL significantly reduced the ultimate tensile strength, % elongation at break and the advancing contact angle of the films. These effects were attributed to alterations in the amorphous content and the more hydrophilic nature of the films. Conversely, there were no alterations in Young's modulus, the viscoelastic properties and glass-transition temperature. Incorporation of PVP-I did not affect the mechanical or rheological properties of the films, indicative of a limited interaction between the two polymers in the solid state. Manipulation of the high:low m.wt. ratio of PCL significantly altered the degradation of the films, most notably following longer immersion periods, and resistance to encrustation. Accordingly, maximum degradation and resistance to encrustation was observed with the biomaterial composed of 40:60 high:low m.wt. ratios of PCL; however, the mechanical properties of this system were considered inappropriate for clinical application. Films composed of either 50:50 or 60:40 ratio of high:low m.wt. PCL offered an appropriate compromise between physicochemical properties and resistance to encrustation. This study has highlighted the important usefulness of degradable polymer systems as ureteral biomaterials.
"This result of blended M n PCL films having higher elastic modulus and lower ultimate tensile strength was noted previously by Jones et al. and was attributed to the semi-crystalline nature of PCL. Lower M n PCL is more likely to form crystalline regions in the largely amorphous high M n PCL structure, making the resulting material more brittle . The increase in material brittleness is also apparent in a lack of plastic deformation in materials containing low M n PCL. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A three-dimensional scaffold comprised of self-assembled polycaprolactone (PCL) sandwiched in a gelatin-chitosan hydrogel was developed for use as a biodegradable patch with a potential for surgical reconstruction of congenital heart defects. The PCL core provides surgical handling, suturability and high initial tensile strength, while the gelatin-chitosan scaffold allows or cell attachment with pore size and mechanical properties conducive to cardiomyocyte migration and function. The ultimate tensile stress of the PCL core, made from blends of 10, 46 and 80 kDa (Mn) PCL, was controllable in the range of 2-4 MPa, with lower average molecular weight PCL blends correlating with lower tensile stress. Blends with lower molecular weight PCL also had faster degradation (controllable from 0-7% weight loss in saline over 30 days) and larger pores. PCL scaffolds supporting a gelatin-chitosan emulsion gel showed no significant alteration in tensile stress, strain or tensile modulus. However the compressive modulus of the composite tissue was similar to that of native tissue (∼ 15 kPa for 50% gelatin and 50% chitosan). Electron microscopy revealed that the gelatinchitosan gel had a 3-D porus structure with a mean pore diameter of ∼ 80 μm, migration of neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVM), maintained NRVM viability over 7 days, and resulted in spontaneously beating scaffolds. This multi-layered scaffold has sufficient tensile strength and surgical handling for use as a cardiac patch, while allowing migration or pre-loading of cardiac cells in a biomimetic environment to allow for eventual degradation of the patch and incorporation into native tissue.
"Typically used halogenated hydrocarbon solvents such as chloroform and dichloromethane have been shown to generate a hydrophobic surface with smooth surface characteristics. To reduce the surface hydrophobicity , grafting hydrophilic fragments of synthetic or natural polymers such as acrylates, collagen and chitosan has also been explored     . Alternatively, etching the surface at the nanoscale using sodium hydroxide is also proposed . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, a novel process of dissolving polycaprolactone (PCL) matrices in glacial acetic acid was explored in which matrices spontaneously formed upon contact with water. Scanning electron microscopy analysis showed rough architecture and holes on the self-assembled matrix relative to matrices formed after dissolving in chloroform. Immersion in the gelatin solution reduced its roughness and number of micropores. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis confirmed the increased roughness of the self-assembled matrices. The roughness of the matrices decreased after incubation in 1N NaOH for 10 min. AFM analysis also revealed that the self-assembled matrix had a net positive surface charge, whereas chloroform-cast matrix had a negative surface charge. The surface charge of self-assembled matrix after immersion in gelatin changed to negative. However, incubation in NaOH did not affect the surface charge. The tensile properties were tested in both the dry state (25 degrees Celsius) and the wet state (37 degrees Celsius) by immersion in phosphate-buffered saline. Self-assembled matrix had lower elastic modulus, break stress and break strain than chloroform-cast matrix in both states. The elastic modulus in the wet condition was reduced by half in self-assembled matrix but tensile strain increased. Samples were further analyzed by ramp-hold test for assessing stress relaxation behavior. Both self-assembled and chloroform-cast matrices had similar trends in stress relaxation behavior. However, stress accumulation in self-assembled matrix was half that of chloroform-cast matrix. In vitro cell cultures were conducted using human foreskin fibroblast (HFF-1) in serum-free medium. Cytoskeletal actin staining showed cell adhesion and spreading on all matrices. Cell retention was significantly increased in self-assembled matrix compared to chloroform-cast matrix. Addition of gelatin improved the retention of seeded cells on the surface. In summary, PCL matrices generated using this novel technique show significant promise in biomedical applications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An amphiphilic biodegradable three-arm star-shaped diblock copolymer containing poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) (TEA(PCL-b-PVP)3) has been successfully synthesized by the ring-opening polymerization of ε-caprolactone (ε-CL), RAFT polymerization of N-vinylpyrrolidone and a coupling reaction of PCL with carboxyl-terminated PVP (PVP-COOH). In aqueous media, the star-shaped copolymer self-assembled into spherical micelles with diameters of near 106 nm. The critical micelle concentration of TEA(PCL-b-PVP)3 copolymer was determined to be 5.96 × 10−3 mg/mL. Folic acid was then used as a model drug to incorporate into TEA(PCL-b-PVP)3 micelles, the drug loading content and encapsulation efficiency is 16.36 and 49.08 %, respectively. In vitro release experiments of the drug-loaded micelles exhibited sustained release behavior and it was affected by the pH of release media. These results indicate that the copolymer may serve as a promising “intelligent” drug delivery alternative.
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