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Mater Today Chem. 2018 Jun;8:110-120. doi: 10.1016/j.mtchem.2018.03.005. Epub 2018 Apr 14.

Effects of PCL, PEG and PLGA polymers on curcumin release from calcium phosphate matrix for in vitro and in vivo bone regeneration.

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W. M. Keck Biomedical Materials Research Laboratory, School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164, United States.


Calcium phosphate materials are widely used as bone-like scaffolds or coating for metallic hip and knee implants due to their excellent biocompatibility, compositional similarity to natural bone and controllable bioresorbability. Local delivery of drugs or osteogenic factors from scaffolds and implants are required over a desired period of time for an effectual treatment of various musculoskeletal disorders. Curcumin, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule, enhances osteoblastc activity in addition to its anti-osteoclastic activity. However, due to its poor solubility and high intestinal liver metabolism, it showed limited oral efficacy in various preclinical and clinical studies. To enhance its bioavailability and to provide higher release, we have used poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL), poly ethylene glycol (PEG) and poly lactide co glycolide (PLGA) as the polymeric system to enable continuous release of curcumin from the hydroxyapatite matrix for 22 days. Additionally, curcumin was incorporated in plasma sprayed hydroxyapatite coated Ti6Al4V substrate to study in vitro cell material interaction using human fetal osteoblast (hFOB) cells for load bearing implants. MTT cell viability assay and morphological characterization by FESEM showed highest cell viability with samples coated with curcumin-PCL-PEG. Finally, 3D printed interconnected macro porous β-TCP scaffolds were prepared and curcumin-PCL-PEG was loaded to assess the effects of curcumin on in vivo bone regeneration. The presence of curcumin in TCP results in enhanced bone formation after 6 weeks. Complete mineralized bone formation increased from 29.6 % to 44.9% in curcumin-coated scaffolds compared to pure TCP. Results show that local release of curcumin can be designed for both load bearing or non-load bearing implants with the aid of polymers, which can be considered an excellent candidate for wound healing and tissue regeneration applications in bone tissue engineering.


3D printing (3DP); Curcumin; Osteoblast cell culture; Plasma coated Ti6Al4V; in vivo osteogenesis

[Available on 2019-06-01]

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