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Macromol Rapid Commun. 2014 Aug;35(16):1408-13. doi: 10.1002/marc.201400253. Epub 2014 Jul 19.

Microporous polymeric 3D scaffolds templated by the layer-by-layer self-assembly.

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Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, branchBioanalytics and Bioprocessing (IZI-BB), Am Mühlenberg 13, 14476, Potsdam-Golm, Germany.


Polymeric scaffolds serve as valuable supports for biological cells since they offer essential features for guiding cellular organization and tissue development. The main challenges for scaffold fabrication are i) to tune an internal structure and ii) to load bio-molecules such as growth factors and control their local concentration and distribution. Here, a new approach for the design of hollow polymeric scaffolds using porous CaCO3 particles (cores) as templates is presented. The cores packed into a microfluidic channel are coated with polymers employing the layer-by-layer (LbL) technique. Subsequent core elimination at mild conditions results in formation of the scaffold composed of interconnected hollow polymer microspheres. The size of the cores determines the feature dimensions and, as a consequence, governs cellular adhesion: for 3T3 fibroblasts an optimal microsphere size is 12 μm. By making use of the carrier properties of the porous CaCO3 cores, the microspheres are loaded with BSA as a model protein. The scaffolds developed here may also be well suited for the localized release of bio-molecules using external triggers such as IR-light.


calcium carbonate; cell adhesion; drug delivery; microcapsule; multilayers

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