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Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2013 Aug 1;33(6):3498-505. doi: 10.1016/j.msec.2013.04.040. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

Electrospun magnetic poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) nanofibers by incorporating PLLA-stabilized Fe3O4 nanoparticles.

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State Key Laboratory of Organic-Inorganic Composites, Key Laboratory of Carbon Fiber and Functional Polymers, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, PR China.


Magnetic poly(L-lactide) (PLLA)/Fe3O4 composite nanofibers were prepared with the purpose to develop a substrate for bone regeneration. To increase the dispersibility of Fe3O4 nanoparticles (NPs) in the PLLA matrix, a modified chemical co-precipitation method was applied to synthesize Fe3O4 NPs in the presence of PLLA. Trifluoroethanol (TFE) was used as the co-solvent for all the reagents, including Fe(II) and Fe(III) salts, sodium hydroxide, and PLLA. The co-precipitated Fe3O4 NPs were surface-coated with PLLA and demonstrated good dispersibility in a PLLA/TFE solution. The composite nanofiber electrospun from the solution displayed a homogeneous distribution of Fe3O4 NPs along the fibers using various contents of Fe3O4 NPs. X-ray diffractometer (XRD) and vibration sample magnetization (VSM) analysis confirmed that the co-precipitation process had minor adverse effects on the crystal structure and saturation magnetization (Ms) of Fe3O4 NPs. The resulting PLLA/Fe3O4 composite nanofibers showed paramagnetic properties with Ms directly related to the Fe3O4 NP concentration. The cytotoxicity of the magnetic composite nanofibers was determined using in vitro culture of osteoblasts (MC3T3-E1) in extracts and co-culture on nanofibrous matrixes. The PLLA/Fe3O4 composite nanofibers did not show significant cytotoxicity in comparison with pure PLLA nanofibers. On the contrary, they demonstrated enhanced effects on cell attachment and proliferation with Fe3O4 NP incorporation. The results suggested that this modified chemical co-precipitation method might be a universal way to produce magnetic biodegradable polyester substrates containing well-dispersed Fe3O4 NPs. This new strategy opens an opportunity to fabricate various kinds of magnetic polymeric substrates for bone tissue regeneration.

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