Reinforcement of electrospun membranes using nanoscale Al2O3 whiskers for improved tissue scaffolds
Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) is a promising material for tissue engineering applications; however, it can be difficult to create scaffolds with the morphology, hydrophilicity, and mechanical properties necessary to support tissue growth. Typically, pure PCL scaffolds have good cellular adhesion, but somewhat low mechanical properties (elastic modulus and tensile strength). This study addresses these issues by incorporating Al(2)O(3) whiskers as reinforcements within PCL membranes generated by electrospinning. Membranes were prepared with Al(2)O(3) content ranging from 1 to 20 wt % and characterized using XRD, TEM, and SEM to determine composition and morphology. The Al(2)O(3) whiskers were well dispersed within the PCL fibers, and the membranes had a highly porous morphology. The elastic modulus was significantly improved by the well aligned whisker reinforcements as verified by tensile testing. The cell morphology and proliferation studies demonstrate Al(2)O(3) whisker reinforced PCL scaffolds maintained the good biocompatibility. These improvements demonstrate that Al(2)O(3) whisker reinforced PCL scaffolds can be considered as a biocompatible material for tissue engineering and dental applications.
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- "In recent years, various inorganic whiskers such as potassium titanate whisker, alumina whisker, silicon carbide whisker and HAP whisker have been introduced http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apsusc.2015.01.167 0169-4332/© 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. into metals, ceramics and plastics to prepare composites with improved mechanical properties    . For example, Gai et al. reported that the incorporation of potassium titanate whiskers into polyamide-66 leads to increase in stiffness, strength and fracture toughness . "
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ABSTRACT: To improve both the strength and toughness of poly(L-lactide) (PLLA), fibrous-like MgO whiskers with diameters of 0.15–1 μm and lengths of 15–110 μm were prepared, and subsequently surface modified with L-lactide to obtain grafted MgO whiskers (g-MgO whiskers). The structures and properties of MgO whiskers and g-MgO whiskers were studied. Then, a series of MgO whiskers/PLLA and g-MgO whiskers/PLLA composites were prepared by solution casting method, for comparison, MgO particles/PLLA composite was prepared too. The resulting composites were evaluated in terms of hydrophilicity, crystallinity, dispersion of whiskers, interfacial adhesion and mechanical performance by means of polarized optical microscopy (POM), contact angle measurement, field emission scanning electron microscope (FSEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and tensile testing. The results revealed that the crystallization rate and hydrophilicity of PLLA were improved by the introduction of MgO whiskers and g-MgO whiskers. The g-MgO whiskers can disperse more uniformly in and show stronger interfacial adhesion with the matrix than MgO whiskers as a result of the surface modification. Due to the bridge effect of the whiskers and the excellent interfacial adhesion between g-MgO whiskers and PLLA, g-MgO whiskers/PLLA composites exhibited remarkably higher strength, modulus and toughness compared to the pristine PLLA, MgO particles/PLLA and MgO whiskers/PLLA composites.
Available from: Fiona-Mairead Mckenna
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ABSTRACT: Both physical and chemical crosslinking methods have been shown to be effective in improving the biological stability and mechanical properties of porous collagen scaffolds. However, the wetting of the collagen fibril surface by a culture medium is reduced and it is difficult for the medium to diffuse into the 3D structure of a porous collagen scaffold. This article reports a strategy for the surface processing of crosslinked collagen scaffolds by an integrated ultraviolet/ozone perfuse processing technique. Ultraviolet/ozone perfuse processing improved surface wettability for both the exterior and interior surfaces of the porous 3D collagen scaffold. This leads to a significant improvement in the scaffolds ability to take up water without compromising the bulk biological stability and mechanical properties. In vitro evaluation using mesenchymal stem cell demonstrated that surface processing enhanced cell colonization of the scaffolds, cells could migrate deep into the structure of the scaffolds, and significantly higher levels of cell proliferation were achieved. In contrast, the cells were unable to migrate deep into the scaffolds, and most of the cells that survived were observed only in the top seeding layer resulting in a low level of cell activity in the unprocessed scaffolds.
Available from: Yili Zhao
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ABSTRACT: Electrospinning is a powerful technique to produce fibers with a diameter ranging from tens of nanometers to several micrometers. Compared with single-component nanofibers, composite or hybrid nanofibers are promising due to the unique properties possessed by both the host and the guest materials. Doping nanoparticles (NPs) or nanotubes (NTs) have excellent optical, mechanical, electrical or catalytic properties within polymer nanofibers, which makes it possible to produce functional nanofibers with promising applications. In this review, followed by a brief introduction of basic theory of electrospinning techniques, we give a literature survey of the NP- or NT-doped electrospun polymer nanofibers in terms of the producing methods and potential applications in the fields of tissue engineering, wound dressing and drug-delivery systems. Some of the aspects related to the improved protein adsorption capability, mechanical durability and, thus, improved cell attachment and proliferation of the NT-doped polymer nanofibers, as well as the significantly decreased burst-release profile of the NT-doped polymer nanofibers used as drug-delivery systems are discussed.
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