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Biomacromolecules. 2009 Jun 8;10(6):1575-83. doi: 10.1021/bm900154b.

Alginate/Hydroxyapatite biocomposite for bone ingrowth: a trabecular structure with high and isotropic connectivity.

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Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy.


Alginate/hydroxyapatite composite scaffolds were developed using a novel production design. Hydroxyapatite (HAp) was incorporated into an alginate solution and internal gelling was induced by addition of slowly acid hydrolyzing d-gluconic acid delta-lactone (GDL) for the direct release of calcium ions from HAp. Hydrogels were then freeze-casted to produce a three-dimensional isotropic porous network. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) analysis of the scaffolds showed an optimal interconnected porous structure with pore sizes ranging between 100 and 300 microm and over 88% porosity. Proliferation assay and SEM observations demonstrated that human osteosarcoma cell lines were able to proliferate, maintain osteoblast-like phenotype and massively colonize the scaffold structure. Overall, these combined results indicate that the novel alginate based composites efficiently support the adhesion and proliferation of cells showing at the same time adequate structural and physical-chemical properties for being used as scaffolds in bone tissue engineering strategies.

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