We present a material design strategy of combining crystallinity and crosslinking to control the mechanical properties of polymeric biomaterials. Three polycaprolactone fumarates (PCLF530, PCLF1250, and PCLF2000) synthesized from the precursor polycaprolactone (PCL) diols with nominal molecular weights of 530, 1250, and 2000 g.mol-1, respectively, were employed to fabricate polymer networks via photo-crosslinking process. Five different amounts of photo-crosslinking initiator were applied during fabrication in order to understand the role of photoinitiator in modulating the crosslinking characteristics and physical properties of PCLF networks. Thermal properties such as glass transition temperature (Tg), melting temperature (Tm), and degradation temperature (Td) of photo-crosslinked PCLFs were examined and correlated with their rheological and mechanical properties.
Polycaprolactone fumarate; Photo-crosslinking; Mechanical Properties
Aiming to achieve suitable polymeric biomaterials with controlled physical properties for hard and soft tissue replacements, we have developed a series of blends consisting of two photo-crosslinkable polymers: polypropylene fumarate (PPF) and polycaprolactone fumarate (PCLF). Physical properties of both uncrosslinked and UV crosslinked PPF/PCLF blends with PPF composition ranging from 0% to 100% have been investigated extensively. It has been found that the physical properties such as thermal, rheological, and mechanical properties could be modulated efficiently by varying the PPF composition in the blends. Thermal properties including glass transition temperature (Tg) and melting temperature (Tm) have been correlated with their rheological and mechanical properties. Surface characteristics such as surface morphology, hydrophilicity and the capability of adsorbing serum protein from culture medium have also been examined for the crosslinked polymer and blend discs. For potential applications in bone and nerve tissue engineering, in vitro cell studies including cytotoxicity, cell adhesion, and proliferation on crosslinked discs with controlled physical properties have been performed using rat bone marrow stromal cells and SPL201 cells, respectively. In addition, the role of mechanical properties such as surface stiffness in modulating cell responses has been emphasized using this model blend system.
Photo-crosslinking; Polymer blends; Poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF); Poly(caprolactone fumarate) (PCLF); Controlled physical properties; Cell responses
In an effort of achieving suitable biomaterials for peripheral nerve regeneration, we present a material design strategy of combining a crystallite-based physical network and a crosslink-based chemical network. Biodegradable polymer disks and conduits have been fabricated by photo-crosslinking three poly(ε-caprolactone fumarate)s (PCLF530, PCLF1250, and PCLF2000), which were synthesized from the precursor poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) diols with nominal molecular weights of 530, 1250, and 2000 g.mol−1, respectively. Thermal properties such as glass transition temperature (Tg), melting temperature (Tm), and crystallinity of photo-crosslinked PCLFs were examined and correlated with their rheological and mechanical properties. Furthermore, in vitro degradation of uncrosslinked and crosslinked PCLFs in PBS crosslinked PCLFs in 1 N NaOH aqueous solution at 37 °C was studied. In vitro cytocompatibility, attachment, and proliferation of Schwann cell precursor line SPL201 cells on three PCLF networks were investigated. Crosslinked PCLF2000 with the highest crystallinity and mechanical properties was found to best support cell attachment and proliferation. Using a new photo-crosslinking method, single-lumen crosslinked PCLF nerve conduits without defects were fabricated in a glass mold. Crosslinked PCLF2000 nerve conduits were selected for evaluation in a 1-cm gap rat sciatic nerve model. Histological evaluation demonstrated that the material was biocompatible with sufficient strength to hold sutures in place after 6 and 17 weeks of implantation. Nerve cable with myelinated axons was found in the crosslinked PCLF2000 nerve conduit.
Poly(ε-caprolactone fumarate); Photo-crosslinking; Peripheral nerve regeneration; Cell responses
This protocol describes the synthesis of 500 – 4000 Da poly(propylene fumarate) by a two-step reaction of diethyl fumarate and propylene glycol through a bis(hydroxypropyl) fumarate diester intermediate. Purified PPF can be covalently crosslinked to form degradable polymer networks, which have been widely explored for biomedical applications. The properties of crosslinked PPF networks depend upon the molecular properties of the constituent polymer, such as the molecular weight. The purity of the reactants and the exclusion of water from the reaction system are of utmost importance in the generation of high-molecular-weight PPF products. Additionally, the reaction time and temperature influence the molecular weight of the PPF product. The expected time required to complete this protocol is 3 d.
biodegradable; biomaterial; injectable material; tissue engineering scaffold
Two poly(ε-caprolactone fumarate)s (PCLFs) with distinct physical properties have been employed to prepare nanocomposites with hydroxyapatite (HA) nanoparticles via photo-crosslinking. The two PCLFs are PCLF530 and PCLF2000, named after their precursor PCL diol molecular weight of 530 and 2000 g.mol-1, respectively. Crosslinked PCLF530 is amorphous while crosslinked PCLF2000 is semi-crystalline with a melting temperature (Tm) of ∼40 °C and a crystallinity of 40%. Consequently, the rheological and mechanical properties of crosslinked PCLF2000 are significantly greater than those of crosslinked PCLF530. Structural characterizations and physical properties of both series of crosslinked PCLF/HA nanocomposites with HA compositions of 0%, 5%, 10%, 20%, and 30% have been investigated. By adding HA nanoparticles, crosslinked PCLF530/HA nanocomposites demonstrate enhanced rheological and mechanical properties while the enhancement in compressive modulus is less prominent in crosslinked PCLF2000/HA nanocomposites. In vitro cell attachment and proliferation have been performed using rat bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) and correlated with the material properties. Cell attachment and proliferation on crosslinked PCLF530/HA nanocomposite disks have been enhanced strongly with increasing the HA composition. However, surface morphology and surface chemistry such as composition, hydrophilicity, and the capability of adsorbing protein cannot be used to interpret the cell responses on different samples. Instead, the role of surface stiffness in regulating cell responses can be supported by the correlation between the change in compressive modulus and BMSC proliferation on these two series of crosslinked PCLFs and PCLF/HA nanocomposites.
Polycaprolactone fumarate (PCLF); Hydroxyapatite (HA); Nanocomposite; Photo-crosslinking; Bone marrow stromal cell responses
Segmented polyurethanes have been used extensively in implantable medical devices, but their tunable mechanical properties make them attractive for examining the effect of biomaterial modulus on engineered musculoskeletal tissue development. In this study a family of segmented degradable poly(esterurethane urea)s (PEUURs) were synthesized from 1,4-diisocyanatobutane, a poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) macrodiol soft segment and a tyramine-1,4-diisocyanatobutane-tyramine chain extender. By systematically increasing the PCL macrodiol molecular weight from 1100 to 2700 Da, the storage modulus, crystallinity and melting point of the PCL segment were systematically varied. In particular, the melting temperature, Tm, increased from 21 to 61°C and the storage modulus at 37°C increased from 52 to 278 MPa with increasing PCL macrodiol molecular weight, suggesting that the crystallinity of the PCL macrodiol contributed significantly to the mechanical properties of the polymers. Bone marrow stromal cells were cultured on rigid polymer films under osteogenic conditions for up to 14 days. Cell density, alkaline phosphatase activity, and osteopontin and osteocalcin expression were similar among PEUURs and comparable to poly(D,L-lactic-coglycolic acid). This study demonstrates the suitability of this family of PEUURs for tissue engineering applications, and establishes a foundation for determining the effect of biomaterial modulus on bone tissue development.
Polycaprolatone; Tissue engineering; Polyurethane; Osteoblast; Modulus
Poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF) is an important biodegradable and crosslinkable polymer designed for bone tissue-engineering applications. For the first time we report the extensive characterization of this biomaterial including molecular weight dependences of physical properties such as glass transition temperature Tg, thermal degradation temperature Td, density ρ melt viscosity η0, hydrodynamic radius RH, and intrinsic viscosity [η]. The temperature dependence of η0 changes progressively with molecular weight, while it can be unified when the temperature is normalized to Tg. The plateau modulus
GN0 and entanglement molecular weight Me have been obtained from the rheological master curves. A variety of chain microstructure parameters such as the Mark-Houwink-Sakurada constants K and α, characteristic ratio C∞, unperturbed chain dimension
r02/M, packing length p, Kuhn length b, and tube diameter a have been deduced. Further correlation between the microstructure and macroscopic physical properties has been discussed in light of recent progress in polymer dynamics to supply a better understanding about this unsaturated polyester to advance its biomedical uses. The molecular weight dependence of Tg for six polymer species including PPF has been summarized to support that Me is irrelevant for the finite length effect on glass transition, while surprisingly these polymers can be divided into two groups when their normalized Tg is plotted simply against Mw to indicate the deciding roles of inherent chain properties such as chain fragility, intermolecular cooperativity, and chain end mobility.
A series of crosslinkable nanocomposites has been developed using hydroxyapatite (HA) nanoparticles and poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF). PPF/HA nanocomposites with four different weight fractions of HA nanoparticles have been characterized in terms of thermal and mechanical properties. To assess surface chemistry of crosslinked PPF/HA nanocomposites, their hydrophilicity and capability of adsorbing proteins have been determined using static contact angle measurement and MicroBCA protein assay kit after incubation with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS), respectively. In vitro cell studies have been performed using MC3T3-E1 mouse pre-osteoblast cells to investigate the ability of PPF/HA nanocomposites to support cell attachment, spreading, and proliferation after 1, 4, and 7 days. By adding HA nanoparticles to PPF, the mechanical properties of crosslinked PPF/HA nanocomposites have not been increased due to the initially high modulus of crosslinked PPF. However, hydrophilicity and serum protein adsorption on the surface of nanocomposites have been significantly increased, resulting in enhanced cell attachment, spreading, and proliferation after 4 days of cell seeding. These results indicate that crosslinkable PPF/HA nanocomposites are useful for hard tissue replacement because of excellent mechanical strength and osteoconductivity.
Poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF); Hydroxyapatite (HA); Nanocomposite; Protein adsorption; Osteoblast response
The performance of biomaterials designed for bone repair depends, in part, on the ability of the material to support the adhesion and survival of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). In this study, a nanofibrous bone-mimicking scaffold was electrospun from a mixture of polycaprolactone (PCL), collagen I, and hydroxyapatite (HA) nanoparticles with a dry weight ratio of 50/30/20 respectively (PCL/col/HA). The cytocompatibility of this tri-component scaffold was compared with three other scaffold formulations: 100% PCL (PCL), 100% collagen I (col), and a bi-component scaffold containing 80% PCL/20% HA (PCL/HA). Scanning electron microscopy, fluorescent live cell imaging, and MTS assays showed that MSCs adhered to the PCL, PCL/HA and PCL/col/HA scaffolds, however more rapid cell spreading and significantly greater cell proliferation was observed for MSCs on the tri-component bone-mimetic scaffolds. In contrast, the col scaffolds did not support cell spreading or survival, possibly due to the low tensile modulus of this material. PCL/col/HA scaffolds adsorbed a substantially greater quantity of the adhesive proteins, fibronectin and vitronectin, than PCL or PCL/HA following in vitro exposure to serum, or placement into rat tibiae, which may have contributed to the favorable cell responses to the tri-component substrates. In addition, cells seeded onto PCL/col/HA scaffolds showed markedly increased levels of phosphorylated FAK, a marker of integrin activation and a signaling molecule known to be important for directing cell survival and osteoblastic differentiation. Collectively these results suggest that electrospun bone-mimetic matrices serve as promising degradable substrates for bone regenerative applications.
Polymeric endoaortic paving (PEAP) is a process by which a polymer is endovascularly delivered and thermoformed to coat or “pave” the lumen of the aorta. This method may offer an improvement to conventional endoaortic therapy in allowing conformal graft application with reduced risk of endoleak and customization to complex patient geometries. Polycaprolactone (PCL)/polyurethane (PU) blends of various blend ratios were assessed as a potential material for PEAP by characterizing their mechanical, thermoforming, and degradation properties. Biaxial tension testing revealed that the blends' stiffness is similar to that of aortic tissue, is higher for blends with more PCL content, and may be affected by thermoforming and degradation. Tubes of blends were able to maintain a higher diameter increase after thermoforming at higher PCL content and higher heating temperatures; 50/50 blend tubes heated to 55°C were able to maintain 90% of the diameter increase applied. Delamination forces of the blends ranged from 41 to 235 N/m2. In a Pseudomonas lipase solution, the 50/50 blend had a 94% lower degradation rate than pure PCL, and the 10/90 blend exhibited no degradation. These results indicate that PEAP, consisting of a PCL/PU blend, may be useful in developing the next generation of endoaortic therapy.
Polymeric Paving; Aneurysm; Polycaprolactone; Polyurethane; Vascular grafts
Reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization was employed to synthesize a set of copolymers of styrene (PS) and 2,3,4,5,6-pentafluorostyrene (PPFS), as well as block copolymers with tert-butyl acrylate (PtBA)-b-PS-co-PPFS, with control over molecular weight and polydispersity. It was found that the copolymerization of styrene and PFS allowed for the preparation of gradient copolymers with opposite levels of monomer consumption, depending on the feed ratio. Conversion to amphiphilic block copolymers, PAA-b-(PS-co-PPFS), by removing the protecting groups was followed by fitting with monomethoxy poly(ethylene glycol) chains. Solution-state assembly and intramicellar crosslinking afforded shell crosslinked (SCK) block copolymer nanoparticles. These fluorinated nanoparticles (ca. 20 nm diameters) were studied as potential magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents based on the 19F-nuclei, however, it was found that packaging of the hydrophobic fluorinated polymers into the core domain restricted the mobility of the chains and prohibited 19F-NMR spectroscopy when the particles were dispersed in water without an organic cosolvent. Packing of perflouro-15-crown-5-ether (PFCE) into the polymer micelle was demonstrated with good uptake efficiency, however, it was necessary to swell the core with a good solvent (DMSO) to increase the mobility and observe the 19F-NMR signal of the PFCE.
Block copolymers; copolymerization; fluoropolymers; amphiphilic polymers; micelles; nanoparticles; reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization; NMR
Bioresorbable scaffolds with mechanical properties suitable for bone tissue engineering were fabricated from polycaprolactone (PCL) and hydroxyapatite (HA) by selective laser sintering (SLS) and modeled by finite element analysis (FEA). Both solid gage parts and scaffolds having 1-D, 2-D and 3-D orthogonal, periodic porous architectures were made with 0, 10, 20 and 30% HA by volume. PCL:HA scaffolds manufactured by SLS had nearly full density (99%) in the designed solid regions and had excellent geometric and dimensional control. Through optimization of the SLS process, the compressive moduli for our solid gage parts and scaffolds are the highest reported in the literature for additive manufacturing. The compressive moduli of solid gage parts were 299.3, 311.2, 415.5 and 498.3 MPa for PCL:HA loading at 100:0, 90:10, 80:20 and 70:30 respectively. The compressive effective stiffness tended to increase as the loading of HA was increased and the designed porosity was lowered. In the case of the most 3-D porous scaffold, the compressive modulus more than doubled from 14.9 MPa to 36.2 MPa when changing the material from 100:0 to 70:30 PCL:HA. A micromechanical finite element analysis (FEA) model was developed to investigate the reinforcement effect of HA loading on the compressive modulus of the bulk material. Using a first-principles based approach, the random distribution of HA particles in a solidified PCL matrix was modeled for any loading of HA to predict the bulk mechanical properties of the composites. The bulk mechanical properties were also used for FEA of the scaffold geometries. Results of the FEA were found to be in good agreement with experimental mechanical testing. The development of patient and site-specific composite tissue engineering constructs with tailored properties can be seen as a direct extension of this work on computational design, a priori modeling of mechanical properties and direct digital manufacturing.
tissue engineering; scaffolds; polycaprolactone; hydroxyapatite; selective laser sintering; mechanical properties
Chronic inflammation-mediated oxidative stress is a common mechanism of implant rejection and failure. Therefore, polymer scaffolds that can degrade slowly in response to this environment may provide a viable platform for implant site-specific, sustained release of immunomodulatory agents over a long time period. In this work, proline oligomers of varying lengths (Pn) were synthesized and exposed to oxidative environments, and their accelerated degradation under oxidative conditions was verified via high performance liquid chromatography and gel permeation chromatography. Next, diblock copolymers of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) were carboxylated to form 100 kDa terpolymers of 4%PEG-86%PCL-10%cPCL (cPCL = poly(carboxyl-ε-caprolactone); i% indicates molar ratio). The polymers were then crosslinked with bi-aminated PEG-Pn-PEG chains—where Pn indicates the length of the proline oligomer flanked by PEG chains. Salt-leaching of the polymeric matrices created scaffolds of macroporous and microporous architecture as observed by scanning electron microscopy. The degradation of scaffolds was accelerated under oxidative conditions, as evidenced by mass loss and differential scanning calorimetry measurements. Immortalized murine bone marrow-derived macrophages were then seeded on the scaffolds, and activated through the addition of γ-interferon and lipopolysaccharide throughout the 9-day study period. This treatment promoted the release of H2O2 by the macrophages, and the degradation of proline-containing scaffolds compared to the control scaffolds. The accelerated degradation was evidenced by increased scaffold porosity, as visualized through scanning electron microscoopy and X-ray microtomography imaging. The current study provides insight into the development of scaffolds that respond to oxidative environments through gradual degradation, for the controlled release of therapeutics targeted to diseases that feature chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.
chronic oxidative stress; biodegradable; macrophages; proline; poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG); poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL); poly(carboxyl-ε-caprolactone) (cPCL)
Polycaprolactone (PCL) was coated on porous tricalcium phosphate (TCP) scaffolds to achieve controlled protein delivery. Porous TCP scaffolds were fabricated using reticulated polyurethane foam as sacrificial scaffold with a porosity of 70–90 vol %. PCL was coated on sintered porous TCP scaffolds by dipping-drying process. The compressive strength of TCP scaffolds increased significantly after PCL coating. The highest strength of 2.41 MPa at a porosity of 70% was obtained for the TCP scaffold coated with 5% PCL solution. Model protein bovine serum albumin (BSA) was encapsulated efficiently within the PCL coating. The amount of BSA encapsulation was controlled by varying proteins’ composition in the PCL coating. The FTIR analysis confirmed that BSA retained its structural conformation and did not show significant denaturization during PCL coating. The release kinetics in phosphate buffer solution indicated that the protein release was controlled and sustained, and primarily dependant on protein concentration encapsulated in the PCL coating.
porous tricalcium phosphate; polycaprolactone; coating; protein delivery
The objective of our study was to determine the effects of composite formulation on the compressive modulus and ultimate strength of a biodegradable, in situ polymerizable poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF) and bone fiber scaffold. The following parameters were investigated: the incorporation of bone fibers (either mineralized or demineralized), PPF molecular weight, N-vinyl pyrrolidinone (NVP) crosslinker amount, benzoyl peroxide (BP) initiator amount, and sodium chloride porogen amount. Eight formulations were chosen based on a resolution III two level fractional factorial design. The compressive modulus and ultimate strength of these formulations were measured on a materials testing machine. Absolute values for compressive modulus varied from 21.3 to 271 MPa and 2.8 to 358 MPa for dry and wet samples, respectively. The ultimate strength of the crosslinked composites varied from 2.1 to 20.3 MPa for dry samples and from 0.4 to 16.6 MPa for wet samples. Main effects of each parameter on the measured property were calculated. The incorporation of mineralized bone fibers and an increase in PPF molecular weight resulted in higher compressive modulus and ultimate strength. Both mechanical properties also increased as the amount of benzoyl peroxide increased or the NVP amount decreased in the formulation. Sodium chloride had a dominating effect on the increase of mechanical properties in dry samples but showed little effects in wet samples. Demineralization of bone fibers led to a decrease in the compressive modulus and ultimate strength. Our results suggest that bone fibers are appropriate as structural enforcement components in PPF scaffolds. The desired orthopaedic PPF scaffold might be obtained by changing a variety of composite formulation parameters.
poly(propylene fumarate); bone fiber; orthopaedic biomaterials; injectable; mechanical properties
Oral chemotherapy is a key step towards ‘chemotherapy at home’, a dream of cancer patients, which will radically change the clinical practice of chemotherapy and greatly improve the quality of life of the patients. In this research, three types of nanoparticle formulation from commercial PCL and self-synthesized d-α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate (PLA-PCL-TPGS) random copolymer were prepared in this research for oral delivery of antitumor agents, including thiolated chitosan-modified PCL nanoparticles, unmodified PLA-PCL-TPGS nanoparticles, and thiolated chitosan-modified PLA-PCL-TPGS nanoparticles. Firstly, the PLA-PCL-TPGS random copolymer was synthesized and characterized. Thiolated chitosan greatly increases its mucoadhesiveness and permeation properties, thus increasing the chances of nanoparticle uptake by the gastrointestinal mucosa and improving drug absorption. The PLA-PCL-TPGS nanoparticles were found by FESEM that they are of spherical shape and around 200 nm in diameter. The surface charge of PLA-PCL-TPGS nanoparticles was reversed from anionic to cationic after thiolated chitosan modification. The thiolated chitosan-modified PLA-PCL-TPGS nanoparticles have significantly higher level of the cell uptake than that of thiolated chitosan-modified PLGA nanoparticles and unmodified PLA-PCL-TPGS nanoparticles. In vitro cell viability studies showed advantages of the thiolated chitosan-modified PLA-PCL-TPGS nanoparticles over Taxol® in terms of cytotoxicity against A549 cells. It seems that the mucoadhesive nanoparticles can increase paclitaxel transport by opening tight junctions and bypassing the efflux pump of P-glycoprotein. In conclusion, PLA-PCL-TPGS nanoparticles modified by thiolated chitosan could enhance the cellular uptake and cytotoxicity, which revealed a potential application for oral chemotherapy of lung cancer.
Oral chemotherapy; PLA-PCL-TPGS; Thiolated chitosan; Nanoparticles; Lung cancer
In designing a synthetic scaffold for engineering soft, mechanically active tissues, desirable properties include elasticity, support of cell adhesion and growth, ease of processability, and responsiveness to in vivo remodeling. To achieve these properties, we have developed a family of thermoplastic elastomers, polyurethaneureas (PUs), that possess enzymatic remodeling capabilities in addition to simple hydrolytic lability. PUs were synthesized using either polycaprolactone or triblock copolymer polycaprolactone-b-poly(ethylene glycol)-b-polycaprolactone as the soft segment, 1,4-butanediisocyanate as the hard segment, and the peptide Ala-Ala-Lys as a chain extender. The synthesized PUs had high molecular weights, low glass transition temperatures (<−54 °C), and were flexible with breaking strains of 670–890% and tensile strengths of 15–28 MPa. Incubation in buffered saline without elastase for 8 weeks resulted in mass loss from 12% to 18% depending on soft segment composition. The degradation significantly increased (p < 0.05) in the presence of elastase, ranging from 19% to 34% with degradation products showing no cytotoxicity. To encourage cell adhesion, PUs were surface-modified with radio frequency glow discharge followed by coupling of Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser (RGDS). Endothelial cell adhesion was >140% of tissue culture polystyrene on PU surfaces and >200% on RGDS-modified surfaces. The synthesized PUs thus combine mechanical, chemical, and bioresponsive properties that might be employed in soft-tissue engineering applications.
Asymmetric bi-soft segment poly(ester urethane urea) (PEUU) membranes containing polycaprolactone (PCL) as a second soft segment are synthesized with PCL-diol ranging from 0% to 15% (w/w). Bulk and surface characteristics of the PEUU membranes were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), static water contact angles, and surface streaming potentials and were correlated to hemocompatibility properties, namely, hemolysis and thrombosis degrees. SEM analysis reveals PEUU membranes with asymmetric cross-sections and top dense surfaces with distinct morphologies. The increase in PCL-diol content yields PEUU membranes with blood-contacting surfaces that are smoother, more hydrophilic, and with higher maximum zeta potentials. The results obtained in this work give no evidence of a correlation between hydrophilicity/zeta potentials and the hemolysis/thrombosis degree of blood-contacting surfaces of the PEUU membranes. In contrast, other hemocompatibility aspects reveal that the more hydrophilic membranes are associated with lower platelet deposition and inhibition of extreme states of platelet activation.
Current tendon repair techniques do not provide sufficient tensile strength at the repair site, and thus early active motion rehabilitation after tendon repair is discouraged. To enhance the post-operative tensile strength, we proposed and tested an internal fixation technique using a polycaprolactone (PCL) biofilm. PCL was chosen for its good biocompatibility, excellent mechanical strength, and an appropriate degradation time scale.
PCL biofilms were prepared by a modified melt-molding/leaching technique, and the physical and mechanical properties and in vitro degradation rate were assessed. The pore size distribution of the biofilm and the paratenon of native tendons were observed using scanning electron microscopy. Next, we determined whether this biofilm could enhance the tensile strength of repaired tendons. We performed tensile tests on rabbit Achilles tendons that were first lacerated and then repaired: 1) using modified Kessler suture combined with running peripheral suture (‘control’ group), or 2) using biofilm to wrap the tendon and then fixation with sutures (‘biofilm’ group). The influence of different repair techniques on tendon tensile strength was evaluated by mechanical testing.
The novel biofilm had supple texture and a smooth surface. The mean thickness of the biofilm was 0.25 mm. The mean porosity of the biofilm was 45.3%. The paratenon of the rabbit Achilles tendon had pores with diameters ranging from 1 to 9 μm, which were similar to the 4–12 μm diameter pores in the biofilm cross-section. The weight loss of the biofilms at 4 weeks was only 0.07%. The molecular weight of PCL biofilms did not change after immersion in phosphate buffered saline for 4 weeks. The failure loads of the biofilm were similar before (48 ± 9 N) and after immersion (47 ± 7 N, P > 0.1). The biofilm group had ~70% higher mean failure loads and 93% higher stiffness compared with the control group.
We proposed and tested an internal fixation technique using a PCL biofilm to enhance tendon repair. Internal fixation with the biofilm followed by standard suturing can significantly increase the tensile strength of tendon repair sites. This technique has the potential to allow active motion rehabilitation during the early post-operative period.
Tendon injury; Internal fixation; Biomechanics; Microstructure
Catheters and other indwelling devices placed inside human body are prone to bacterial infection, causing serious risk to patients. Infections associated with implants are difficult to resolve, and hence the prevention of bacterial colonization of such surfaces is quite appropriate. In this context, the development of novel antimicrobial biomaterials is currently gaining momentum. We describe here the preparation and antibacterial properties of an enzyme-embedded polycaprolactone (PCL)-based coating, coimpregnated with the antibiotic gentamicin sulfate (GS). The enzyme uses PCL itself as substrate; as a result, the antibiotic gets released at a rate controlled by the degradation of the PCL base. In vitro drug release studies demonstrated sustained release of GS from the PCL film throughout its lifetime. By modulating the enzyme concentration in the PCL film, we were able to vary the lifetime of the coating from 33 h to 16 days. In the end, the polymer is completely degraded, delivering the entire load of the antibiotic. The polymer exhibited antibacterial properties against three test isolates: Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus. Foley urinary catheters coated with the modified polymer exhibited sustained in vitro release of GS over a 60-h period. The results suggest that the antibiotic-plus-enzyme-loaded polymer can be used as tunable self-degrading antimicrobial biomaterial coating on catheters.
The objective of this study was to determine how the incorporation of surface-modified alumoxane nanoparticles into a biodegradable fumarate-based polymer affects in vivo bone biocompatibility (characterized by direct bone contact and bone ingrowth) and in vivo degradability. Porous scaffolds were fabricated from four materials: poly(propylene fumarate)/propylene fumarate-diacrylate (PPF/PF-DA) polymer alone; a macrocomposite consisting of PPF/PF-DA polymer with boehmite microparticles; a nanocomposite composed of PPF/PF-DA polymer and mechanically-reinforcing surface-modified alumoxane nanoparticles; and a low molecular weight PPF polymer alone (tested as a degradation control). Scaffolds were implanted in the lateral femoral condyle of adult goats for 12 weeks and evaluated by micro-computed tomography and histological analysis. For all material groups, small amounts of bone, some soft tissue, and a few inflammatory elements were observed within the pores of scaffolds, though many pores remained empty or filled with fluid only. Direct contact between scaffolds and surrounding bone tissue was also observed in all scaffold types, though less commonly. Minimal in vivo degradation occurred during the 12 weeks of implantation in all materials. These results demonstrate that the incorporation of alumoxane nanoparticles into porous PPF/PF-DA scaffolds does not significantly alter in vivo bone biocompatibility or degradation.
Bone tissue engineering; Nanocomposite; Biocompatibility; Nanobiomaterials; Micro-computed tomography
The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate whether blending two kinds of biomaterials, chitosan and polycaprolactone (PCL), can be used as scaffold and carrier for growth and differentiation of corneal endothelial cells (CECs).
A transparent, biocompatible carrier with cultured CECs on scaffold would be a perfect replacement graft. In the initial part of experiment, for essential and biocompatible test, chitosan and PCL were evaluated respectively and blended in various proportions by coating. In the later part of this study, for evaluation of potential application, homogenous solutions of 25%, 50%, and 75% PCL compositions were attempted to structure blend membranes.
Chitosan, PCL 25, PCL 50, and PCL 75 blends could maintain transparency of culturing substrata. BCECs were found to be reached confluence successfully after 7 days on PCL 25, PCL 50, and PCL 75. The expression of tight junction and extracellular matrix protein were observed as well. Alternatively, only PCL 25 could make blend membrane with enough strength during preparation for carrier in culture. On this blend membrane, the growth pattern and phenotype of BCECs could be observed well.
A ratio of 75:25 (chitosan:PCL) blends showed enough mechanical properties as well as suitable support for cellular activity in cultivating BCECs. Thus, a novel methodology of biodegradable carrier from chitosan and PCL has potential to be a good replacement scaffold for raising CECs for clinical transplantation.
Multidrug resistance remains a major obstacle to successful cancer chemotherapy. Some chemical multidrug resistance inhibitors, such as ciclosporin and verapamil, have been reported to reverse resistance in tumor cells. However, the accompanying side effects have limited their clinical application. In this study, we have developed a novel drug delivery system, ie, a polyethyleneglycol-polycaprolactone (PEG-PCL) copolymer micelle encapsulating doxorubicin, in order to circumvent drug resistance in adriamycin-resistant K562 tumor cells.
Doxorubicin-loaded diblock copolymer PEG-PCL micelles were developed, and the physicochemical properties of these micelles, and accumulation and cytotoxicity of doxorubicin in adriamycin-resistant K562 tumor cells were studied.
Doxorubicin-loaded micelles were prepared using a solvent evaporation method with a diameter of 36 nm and a zeta potential of +13.8 mV. The entrapment efficiency of doxorubicin was 48.6% ± 2.3%. The micelles showed sustained release, increased uptake, and cellular cytotoxicity, as well as decreased efflux of doxorubicin in adriamycin-resistant K562 tumor cells.
This study suggests that PEG-PCL micelles have the potential to reverse multidrug resistance in tumor cells.
doxorubicin; polyethylene glycol; polycaprolactone; adriamycin-resistant K562 tumor cells; multidrug resistance; micelles
This study investigates the effects of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) nanoparticles on the mechanical and thermal properties and surface morphology of polycaprolactone (PCL)/chitosan nanocomposites. The nanocomposites of PCL/chitosan/CaCO3 were prepared using a melt blending technique. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) results indicate the average size of nanoparticles to be approximately 62 nm. Tensile measurement results show an increase in the tensile modulus with CaCO3 nanoparticle loading. Tensile strength and elongation at break show gradual improvement with the addition of up to 1 wt% of nano-sized CaCO3. Decreasing performance of these properties is observed for loading of more than 1 wt% of nano-sized CaCO3. The thermal stability was best enhanced at 1 wt% of CaCO3 nanoparticle loading. The fractured surface morphology of the PCL/chitosan blend becomes more stretched and homogeneous in PCL/chitosan/CaCO3 nanocomposite. TEM micrograph displays good dispersion of CaCO3 at lower nanoparticle loading within the matrix.
nanocomposites; calcium carbonate nanoparticles; polycaprolactone; chitosan; mechanical properties; thermal properties
Three-dimensionally woven poly(ε-caprolactone)(PCL) scaffolds were combined with adult human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) to engineer mechanically functional cartilage constructs in vitro. The specific objectives were to: (i) produce PCL scaffolds with cartilage-like mechanical properties, (ii) demonstrate that hMSCs formed cartilage after 21-days of culture on PCL scaffolds, and (iii) study effects of scaffold structure (loosely vs. tightly woven), culture vessel (static dish vs. oscillating bioreactor), and medium composition (chondrogenic additives with or without serum). Aggregate moduli of 21-day constructs approached normal articular cartilage for tightly woven PCL cultured in bioreactors, were lower for tightly woven PCL cultured statically, and lowest for loosely woven PCL cultured statically (p<0.05). Construct DNA, total collagen, and glyocosaminoglycans (GAG) increased in a manner dependent on time, culture vessel, and medium composition. Chondrogenesis was verified histologically by rounded cells within a hyaline-like matrix that immunostained for collagen type II but not type I. Bioreactors yielded constructs with higher collagen content (p<0.05) and more homogenous matrix than static controls. Chondrogenic additives yielded constructs with higher GAG (p<0.05) and earlier expression of collagen II mRNA if serum was not present in medium. These results show feasibility of functional cartilage tissue engineering from hMSC and 3D woven PCL scaffolds.
Cartilage repair; stem cell; bioreactor; biomechanics; growth factors