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Biomed Mater. 2016 Oct 21;11(6):065003.

Nanocomposite scaffolds with tunable mechanical and degradation capabilities: co-delivery of bioactive agents for bone tissue engineering.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, PC1113, Argentina.


Novel multifunctional nanocomposite scaffolds made of nanobioactive glass and alginate crosslinked with therapeutic ions such as calcium and copper were developed for delivering therapeutic agents, in a highly controlled and sustainable manner, for bone tissue engineering. Alendronate, a well-known antiresorptive agent, was formulated into microspheres under optimized conditions and effectively loaded within the novel multifunctional scaffolds with a high encapsulation percentage. The size of the cation used for the alginate crosslinking impacted directly on porosity and viscoelastic properties, and thus, on the degradation rate and the release profile of copper, calcium and alendronate. According to this, even though highly porous structures were created with suitable pore sizes for cell ingrowth and vascularization in both cases, copper-crosslinked scaffolds showed higher values of porosity, elastic modulus, degradation rate and the amount of copper and alendronate released, when compared with calcium-crosslinked scaffolds. In addition, in all cases, the scaffolds showed bioactivity and mechanical properties close to the endogenous trabecular bone tissue in terms of viscoelasticity. Furthermore, the scaffolds showed osteogenic and angiogenic properties on bone and endothelial cells, respectively, and the extracts of the biomaterials used promoted the formation of blood vessels in an ex vivo model. These new bioactive nanocomposite scaffolds represent an exciting new class of therapeutic cell delivery carrier with tunable mechanical and degradation properties; potentially useful in the controlled and sustainable delivery of therapeutic agents with active roles in bone formation and angiogenesis, as well as in the support of cell proliferation and osteogenesis for bone tissue engineering.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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