Three-dimensional mineralization of dense nanofibrillar collagen-bioglass hybrid scaffolds.
ABSTRACT Scaffolds for bone tissue engineering must meet a number of requirements such as biocompatibility, osteoconductivity, osteoinductivity, biodegradability, and appropriate biomechanical properties. A combination of type I collagen and 45S5 Bioglass may meet these requirements, however, little has been demonstrated on the effect of Bioglass on the potential of the collagen nanofibrillar three-dimensional mineralization and its influence on the structural and mechanical properties of the scaffolds. In this work, rapidly fabricated dense collagen-Bioglass hybrid scaffolds were assessed for their potential for immediate implantation. Hybrid scaffolds were conditioned, in vitro, in simulated body fluid (SBF) for up to 14 days and assessed in terms of changes in structural, chemical, and mechanical properties. MicroCT and SEM analyses showed a homogeneous distribution of Bioglass particles in the as-made hybrids. Mineralization was detected at day 1 in SBF, while ATR-FTIR microscopy and XRD revealed the presence of hydroxyl-carbonated apatite on the surface and within the two hybrid scaffolds at days 7 and 14. FTIR and SEM confirmed that the triple helical structure and typical banding pattern of fibrillar collagen was maintained as a function of time in SBF. Principal component analysis executed on ATR-FTIR microscopy revealed that the mineralization extent was a function of both Bioglass content and conditioning time in SBF. Tensile mechanical analysis showed an increase in the elastic modulus and a corresponding decrease in strain at ultimate tensile strength (UTS) as imparted by mineralization of scaffolds as a function of time in SBF and Bioglass content. Change in UTS was affected by Bioglass content. These results suggested the achievement of a hybrid matrix potentially suitable for bone tissue engineering.