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Design and development of poly-L/D-lactide copolymer and barium titanate nanoparticle 3D composite scaffolds using breath figure method for tissue engineering applications

Highlights•A PLDLA/BTNP composite scaffold could be produced using the breath figure method.•The incorporation of uncoated BTNPs into the scaffold increased the pore size.•PLDLA/BTNP composite scaffolds were biocompatible with ovine stromal stem cells.•The composite scaffold provided a suitable structure for cell migration into pores.AbstractIn tissue engineering, the scaffold topography influences the adhesion, proliferation, and function of cells. Specifically, the interconnected porosity is crucial for cell migration and nutrient delivery in 3D scaffolds. The objective of this study was to develop a 3D porous composite scaffold for musculoskeletal tissue engineering applications by incorporating barium titanate nanoparticles (BTNPs) into a poly-L/D-lactide copolymer (PLDLA) scaffold using the breath figure method. The porous scaffold fabrication utilised 96/04 PLDLA, dioleoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE), and different types of BTNPs, including uncoated BTNPs, Al2O3-coated BTNPs, and SiO2-coated BTNPs. The BTNPs were incorporated into the polymer scaffold, which was subsequently analysed using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). The biocompatibility of each scaffold was tested using ovine bone marrow stromal stem cells. The cell morphology, viability, and proliferation were evaluated using FE-SEM, LIVE/DEAD staining, and Prestoblue assay. Porous 3D composite scaffolds were successfully produced, and it was observed that the incorporation of uncoated BTNPs increased the average pore size from 1.6 µm (PLDLA) to 16.2 μm (PLDLA/BTNP). The increased pore size in the PLDLA/BTNP scaffolds provided a suitable porosity for the cells to migrate inside the scaffold, while in the pure PLDLA scaffolds with their much smaller pore size, cells elongated on the surface. To conclude, the breath figure method was successfully used to develop a PLDLA/BTNP scaffold. The use of uncoated BTNPs resulted in a composite scaffold with an optimal pore size while maintaining the honeycomb-like structure. The composite scaffolds were biocompatible and yielded promising structures for future tissue engineering applications.Graphical abstractDownload : Download high-res image (98KB)Download : Download full-size image


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