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J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2008 Jan;19(1):425-35. Epub 2007 Jul 3.

The influence of pore size on colonization of poly(L-lactide-glycolide) scaffolds with human osteoblast-like MG 63 cells in vitro.

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  • 1Department of Biomaterials, Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics, AGH University of Science and Technology, Al. Mickiewicza 30, Krakow 30-059, Poland.


A degradable copolymer of L-lactide and glycolide (PLG) was synthesized by ring opening polymerization using zirconium acetylacetonate [Zr(acac)(4)] as a biocompatible initiator. The structure of the copolymer was studied by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). Porous scaffolds of defined microstructure were prepared by solvent casting/salt particulate leaching, which resulted in the creation of three types of scaffolds with the same porosity (87%+/-1%) but with different diameters of the pores (600, 200 and 40 microm) and degree of interconnectivity. The potential of the scaffolds for cell colonization was tested in a conventional static cell culture system using human osteoblast-like MG 63 cells. As revealed by conventional fluorescence and confocal microscopy on days 5 and 7 after seeding, the cells on the scaffolds of large or medium pore size infiltrated the inside part of the material, whereas on the scaffolds of small pore size, the cells were retained on the material surface. On day 7 after seeding, the highest number of cells was found on the scaffolds of the largest pore size (more than 120,000 cells per sample of the diameter 15 mm and thickness 2 mm), whereas on the scaffolds with medium and smallest pore diameter, the number of cells was almost three times lower and similar for both pore sizes. These results corresponded well with the incorporation of bromodeoxyuridine into newly synthesized DNA, which was significantly higher in cells on scaffolds of the largest pore size than on the material with medium and smallest pore diameter. As indicated by the MTT test, the mitochondrial activity in cells on scaffolds with medium pore size was similar to that on the material with the highest pore size, and significantly higher than on scaffolds of the smallest pore diameter. These results suggest that PLG scaffolds with the largest pore diameter (600 microm) and better pore interconnectivity are the most suitable for colonization with osteogenic cells.

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