A Biocompatible Tissue Scaffold Produced by Supercritical Fluid Processing for Cartilage Tissue Engineering
- A Biocompatible Tissue Scaffold Produced by Supercritical Fluid Processing for Cartilage Tissue Engineering
- tissue engineering
- Issue Date
- Tissue engineering. Part C, Methods.
- VOL 19, NO 3, 181-188
- Supercritical fluids are used in various industrial fields, such as the food and medical industries, because they
have beneficial physical and chemical properties and are also nonflammable and inexpensive. In particular,
supercritical carbon dioxide (ScCO2) is attractive due to its mild critical temperature, pressure values, and
nontoxicity. Poly(L-lactide-co-e-caprolactone) (PLCL), which is a biocompatible, biodegradable, and very elastic
polymer, has been used in cartilage tissue engineering. However, organic solvents, such as chloroform or
dichloromethane, are usually used for the fabrication of a PLCL scaffold through conventional methods. This
leads to a cytotoxic effect and long processing time for removing solvents. To alleviate these problems, supercritical
fluid processing is introduced here. In this study, we fabricated a mechano-active PLCL scaffold by
supercritical fluid processing for cartilage tissue engineering, and we compared it with a scaffold made by a
conventional solvent-casting method in terms of physical and biological performance. Also, to examine the
optimum condition for preparing scaffolds with ScCO2, we investigated the effects of pressure, temperature, and
the depressurization rate on PLCL foaming. The PLCL scaffolds produced by supercritical fluid processing had a
homogeneously interconnected porous structure, and they exhibited a narrow pore size distribution. Also, there
was no cytotoxicity of the scaffolds made with ScCO2 compared to the scaffolds made by the solvent-pressing
method. The scaffolds were seeded with chondrocytes, and they were subcutaneously implanted into nude mice
for up to 4 weeks. In vivo accumulation of extracellular matrix of cell–scaffold constructs demonstrated that the
PLCL scaffold made with ScCO2 formed a mature and well-developed cartilaginous tissue compared to the
PLCL scaffold formed by solvent pressing.
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