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Ann Anat. 2012 Nov;194(6):513-7. doi: 10.1016/j.aanat.2011.12.006. Epub 2012 Feb 8.

The survival and proliferation of fibroblasts on biocomposites containing genetically modified flax fibers: an in vitro study.

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Department of Orthodontics, Preventive and Paediatric Dentistry, Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald, Germany.


Natural fibers have long been used in several branches of industry. Nowadays, they are considered as composite materials in medicine with special focus on artificial tissue scaffolding, drug-release systems, cardiovascular patches and nerve cuffs. The purpose of this study has been to examine the in vitro biocompatibility of newly designed "green composites". Therefore, composites containing flax fibers from transgenic flax plants producing polyhydroxybutyrate (M50) and control (wt-NIKE) plants in a polylactid (PLA) or polycaprolactone (PCL) matrix were prepared and mice fibroblast viability and cytotoxicity determined after incubation for 12-48h and 3 weeks with those composites. After 24h and 48h, all green composites have a strong influence on cell viability and membrane stability without any differences among each other. The cell viability of treated cells is approximately 82.5-93% of those of untreated control cells, respectively. The increase in cytotoxicity ranged between 1.4 and 2.9 fold compared to untreated cells. After 3 weeks of incubation, no significant changes were detectable in the amount of dead and living cells between composite treated and untreated cells. In conclusion, the tested new "green composites" showed a good biocompatibility. The biocompatibility of composites from transgenic flax plant fibers producing PHB did not differ from composites of non-transgenic flax plant fibers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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