Design of Functional Polymer and Composite Scaffolds for the Regeneration of Bone, Menisci, Osteochondral and Peripheral Nervous Tissues
In order to mimic the behaviors of natural tissue, the optimal approach for designing novel biomaterials has to be inspired to nature guidelines. One of the major challenge consists in the development of well-organized structures or scaffolds with controlled porosity in terms of pore size, pore shape and interconnection degree able to guide new tissue formation during the in vivo degradation following the scaffold implantation. Scaffolds endowed with molecular cues together to a controlled degradation profile should contribute to cell proliferation and differentiation, controlled vascularization, promoting the remodeling of neo tissue through a gradual transmission of bio-chemicals and biophysical signals as performed by the extracellular matrix (ECM). Here, different polymers and composites have been investigated to design scaffolds with peculiar micro and/or nanometric morphological features in order to satisfy all these requirements: a) bioactive scaffolds, with tailored porosity and high pores interconnectivity were developed by integrating PLA fibres, Calcium Phosphates particles or Hyaff11 phases into a Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) matrix by the combination of filament winding technology and phase inversion/salt leaching technique as mineralised ECM analogue for bone regeneration; b) custom made PCL/hydroxyapatite scaffolds were designed by imaging and rapid prototyping technologies for the osteochondral defect. c) Ester of Hyaluronic Acid reinforced with degradable fibres were processed by composite technology, phase inversion and salt leaching technique, to obtain scaffolds for meniscus regeneration. d) PCL and gelatin nanofibres were obtained by highly customized fibre deposition via electrospinning to guide the nerve outgrowth in nerve regeneration. All the proposed approaches offer the chance of realizing tailor-made platforms with micro/nanoscale architecture and chemical composition suitable for the regeneration of the extracellular matrix of a large variety of natural tissues (i.e, bone, menisci, osteochondral and peripheral nervous tissues).
Maher Soueidan, Mohamad Roumié and Pierre Masri
V. Guarino et al., "Design of Functional Polymer and Composite Scaffolds for the Regeneration of Bone, Menisci, Osteochondral and Peripheral Nervous Tissues", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 324, pp. 8-13, 2011