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Materials (Basel). 2017 Sep 22;10(10). pii: E1123. doi: 10.3390/ma10101123.

Production of Poly(ε-Caprolactone)/Hydroxyapatite Composite Scaffolds with a Tailored Macro/Micro-Porous Structure, High Mechanical Properties, and Excellent Bioactivity.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Korea.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Korea.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Korea.
Department of Public Health Sciences, BK21PLUS Program in Embodiment: Health-Society Interaction, Graduate School, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Korea.
Institute for BioMaterials, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Korea.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.


We produced poro-us poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL)/hydroxyapatite (HA) composite scaffolds for bone regeneration, which can have a tailored macro/micro-porous structure with high mechanical properties and excellent in vitro bioactivity using non-solvent-induced phase separation (NIPS)-based 3D plotting. This innovative 3D plotting technique can create highly microporous PCL/HA composite filaments by inducing unique phase separation in PCL/HA solutions through the non-solvent-solvent exchange phenomenon. The PCL/HA composite scaffolds produced with various HA contents (0 wt %, 10 wt %, 15 wt %, and 20 wt %) showed that PCL/HA composite struts with highly microporous structures were well constructed in a controlled periodic pattern. Similar levels of overall porosity (~78 vol %) and pore size (~248 µm) were observed for all the PCL/HA composite scaffolds, which would be highly beneficial to bone tissue regeneration. Mechanical properties, such as ultimate tensile strength and compressive yield strength, increased with an increase in HA content. In addition, incorporating bioactive HA particles into the PCL polymer led to remarkable enhancements in in vitro apatite-forming ability.


3D plotting; cytocompatibility; hydroxyapatite; poly(ε-caprolactone); porous scaffolds

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