Improving pore interconnectivity in polymeric scaffolds for tissue engineering.
ABSTRACT A new scaffold fabrication technique aiming to enhance pore interconnectivity for tissue engineering has been developed. Medical grade poly(lactic acid) was utilized to generate scaffolds by a solvent-evaporating/particulate-leaching technique, using a new dual-porogen system. Water-soluble sodium chloride particles were used to control macro-pore size in the range 106-255 microm, while organic naphthalene was utilized as a porogen to increase pore interconnections. The three-dimensional (3D) morphology of the scaffolds manufactured with and without naphthalene was examined by optical coherence tomography and scanning electron microscopy. The mechanical properties of the scaffolds were characterized by compression tests. MG63 osteoblast cells were seeded in the scaffolds to study the cell attachment and viability evaluated by confocal microscopy. It was revealed that introducing naphthalene as the second porogen in the solvent-evaporating/particulate-leaching process resulted in improvement of the pore interconnectivity. Cells grew in both scaffolds fabricated with and without naphthalene. They exhibited strong green fluorescence when using a live/dead fluorescent dye kit, indicating that the naphthalene in the scaffold process did not affect cell viability.
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Article: Microfabrication of PDLLA scaffolds[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This study aimed to comprehend the potentialities of the microfabrication to produce tissue-engineering scaffolds. Structures presenting homogeneously distributed pores of size 100 and 200 µm were fabricated through layer-by-layer deposition of filaments of poly(D,L-lactic acid) (PDLLA) prepared from dichloromethane/dimethylformamide solutions. Rheological tests on the solution and molecular weight distributions of PDLLA, solvent cast films and microfabricated scaffolds were performed to determine which material conditions are optimal for the microfabricated system and to identify any possible material modification induced by the process. In vitro qualitative preliminary cell culture studies were conducted using MG63 osteoblast cell lines after assuring the non-cytotoxicity of the scaffold material by the lactate dehydrogenase in vitro toxicology assay; biological evaluations were initially performed using scaffolds with the smaller (100 µm) pore size. Scanning electron microscopy imaging was used to determine cell morphology distribution. A second cell culture test was performed, using the scaffold with the higher (200 µm) porosity. Confocal laser microscopy (CLM) was utilized to examine cell morphology and growth behaviour. Cellular metabolic activity and viability were also examined using Alamar Blue assay and further verifications were performed using CLM. Cell culture studies indicated homogeneous distribution, high viability and metabolic activity. Pore dimension affects cell distribution: pores < 100 µm acted as barrier structures for the MG63 osteoblast cell line; penetration inside the matrix was hindered and cells grew on the outer part. Increasing pore size resulted in a more homogeneous cell distribution and penetration of cells inside the structure was achieved.Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine 07/2011; 5(7):569-77. DOI:10.1002/term.349 · 4.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Drug discovery programmes require accurate in vitro systems for drug screening and testing. Traditional cell culture makes use of 2D (two-dimensional) surfaces for ex vivo cell growth. In such environments, cells are forced to adopt unnatural characteristics, including aberrant flattened morphologies. Therefore there is a strong demand for new cell culture platforms which allow cells to grow and respond to their environment in a more realistic manner. The development of 3D (three-dimensional) alternative substrates for in vitro cell growth has received much attention, and it is widely acknowledged that 3D cell growth is likely to more accurately reflect the in vivo tissue environments from which cultured cells are derived. 3D cell growth techniques promise numerous advantages over 2D culture, including enhanced proliferation and differentiation of stem cells. The present review focuses on the development of scaffold technologies for 3D cell culture.Biochemical Society Transactions 08/2010; 38(4):1072-5. DOI:10.1042/BST0381072 · 3.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Miscibility and foaming of poly(l-lactic acid) (PLLA) in carbon dioxide+acetone mixtures have been explored over the temperature and pressure ranges from 60 to 180°C and 14 to 61MPa. Liquid–liquid phase boundaries were determined in a variable-volume view-cell for polymer concentrations up to 25wt% PLLA and fluid mixtures containing 67–93wt% CO2 over a temperature range from 60 to 180°C. Even though not soluble in carbon dioxide at pressures tested, the polymer could be completely solubilized in mixtures of carbon dioxide and acetone at modest pressures.Foaming experiments were carried out in different modes. Free-expansions were carried out by exposure and swelling in pure carbon dioxide in a view-cell followed by depressurization. Foaming experiments were also carried out within the confinement of specially designed molds with porous metal surfaces as boundaries to direct the fluid escape path and to generate foams with controlled overall shape and dimensions. These experiments were conducted in pure carbon dioxide and also in carbon dioxide+acetone fluid mixtures over a wide range of temperatures and pressures. Foaming in carbon dioxide+acetone mixtures was limited to 1 and 4wt% acetone cases. Microstructures were examined using an environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM). Depending upon the conditions employed, pore diameters ranging from 5 to 400μm were generated. At a given temperature, smaller pores were promoted when foaming was carried out by depressurization from higher pressures. At a given pressure, smaller pores were generated from expansions at lower temperatures. Foams with larger pores were produced in mixtures of carbon dioxide with acetone.Journal of Supercritical Fluids The 09/2010; 54(3):296-307. DOI:10.1016/j.supflu.2010.05.005 · 2.57 Impact Factor