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J Biomater Sci Polym Ed. 2002;13(2):141-51.

Surface studies of coated polymer microspheres and protein release from tissue-engineered scaffolds.

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  • 1The Institute for Complex Engineered Systems, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


The controlled release of growth factors from porous, polymer scaffolds is being studied for potential use as tissue-engineered scaffolds. Biodegradable polymer microspheres were coated with a biocompatible polymer membrane to permit the incorporation of the microspheres into tissue-engineered scaffolds. Surface studies with poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) [PLGA], and poly(vinyl alcohol) [PVA] were conducted. Polymer films were dip-coated onto glass slides and water contact angles were measured. The contact angles revealed an initially hydrophobic PLGA film, which became hydrophilic after PVA coating. After immersion in water, the PVA coating was removed and a hydrophobic PLGA film remained. Following optimization using these 2D contact angle studies, biodegradable PLGA microspheres were prepared, characterized, and coated with PVA. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was used to further characterize coated slides and microspheres. The release of the model protein bovine serum albumin from PVA-coated PLGA microspheres was studied over 8 days. The release of BSA from PVA-coated PLGA microspheres embedded in porous PLGA scaffolds over 24 days was also examined. Coating of the PLGA microspheres with PVA permitted their incorporation into tissue-engineered scaffolds and resulted in a controlled release of BSA.

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