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Less harmful acidic degradation of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) bone tissue engineering scaffolds through titania nanoparticle addition

Authors Huinan Liu, Elliott B Slamovich, Thomas J Webster

Published 15 January 2007 Volume 2006:1(4) Pages 541—545

Huinan Liu1, Elliott B Slamovich2, Thomas J Webster1

1Division of Engineering, 182 Hope Street, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA; 2School of Materials Engineering, 501 Northwestern Avenue, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.

Abstract: In the last 10 years, biodegradable aliphatic polyesters, such as poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA), have attracted increasing attention for their use as scaffold materials in bone tissue engineering because their degradation products can be removed by natural metabolic pathways. However, one main concern with the use of these specific polymers is that their degradation products reduce local pH, which in turn induces an inflammatory reaction and damages bone cell health at the implant site. Thus, the objective of the present in vitro study was to investigate the degradation behavior of PLGA when added with dispersed titania nanoparticles. The results of this study provided the first evidence that the increased dispersion of nanophase titania in PLGA decreased the harmful change in pH normal for PLGA degradation. Moreover, previous studies have demonstrated that the increased dispersion of titania nanoparticles into PLGA significantly improved osteoblast (bone-forming cell) functions (such as adhesion, collagen synthesis, alkaline phosphatase activity, and calcium-containing minerals deposition). In this manner, nanophase titania–PLGA composites may be promising scaffold materials for more effective orthopedic tissue engineering applications.

Keywords: nanocomposites, tissue engineering scaffolds, polymer/ceramic composites, nanophase titania, degradation, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)