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Tissue Eng Part A. 2009 Oct;15(10):3013-24. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2008.0355.

Processing of polycaprolactone and polycaprolactone-based copolymers into 3D scaffolds, and their cellular responses.

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1
Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Semenyih, Malaysia. enamul.hoque@nottingham.edu.my

Abstract

Synthetic polymers have attracted much attention in tissue engineering due to their ability to modulate biomechanical properties. This study investigated the feasibility of processing poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL) homopolymer, PCL-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) diblock, and PCL-PEG-PCL triblock copolymers into three-dimensional porous scaffolds. Properties of the various polymers were investigated by dynamic thermal analysis. The scaffolds were manufactured using the desktop robot-based rapid prototyping technique. Gross morphology and internal three-dimensional structure of scaffolds were identified by scanning electron microscopy and micro-computed tomography, which showed excellent fusion at the filament junctions, high uniformity, and complete interconnectivity of pore networks. The influences of process parameters on scaffolds' morphological and mechanical characteristics were studied. Data confirmed that the process parameters directly influenced the pore size, porosity, and, consequently, the mechanical properties of the scaffolds. The in vitro cell culture study was performed to investigate the influence of polymer nature and scaffold architecture on the adhesion of the cells onto the scaffolds using rabbit smooth muscle cells. Light, scanning electron, and confocal laser microscopy showed cell adhesion, proliferation, and extracellular matrix formation on the surface as well as inside the structure of both scaffold groups. The completely interconnected and highly regular honeycomb-like pore morphology supported bridging of the pores via cell-to-cell contact as well as production of extracellular matrix at later time points. The results indicated that the incorporation of hydrophilic PEG into hydrophobic PCL enhanced the overall hydrophilicity and cell culture performance of PCL-PEG copolymer. However, the scaffold architecture did not significantly influence the cell culture performance in this study.

PMID:
19331580
DOI:
10.1089/ten.TEA.2008.0355
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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