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Preparation of poly(ethylene glycol)/polylactide hybrid fibrous scaffolds for bone tissue engineering

Authors Ni, Fu S, Fan, Guo G, Shi, Peng J, Luo F, Qian Z

Published 30 November 2011 Volume 2011:6 Pages 3065—3075


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

PeiYan Ni, ShaoZhi Fu, Min Fan, Gang Guo, Shuai Shi, JinRong Peng, Feng Luo, ZhiYong Qian
State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy and Cancer Center, West China Hospital, West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, People's Republic of China

Abstract: Polylactide (PLA) electrospun fibers have been reported as a scaffold for bone tissue engineering application, however, the great hydrophobicity limits its broad application. In this study, the hybrid amphiphilic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)/hydrophobic PLA fibrous scaffolds exhibited improved morphology with regular and continuous fibers compared to corresponding blank PLA fiber mats. The prepared PEG/PLA fibrous scaffolds favored mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) attachment and proliferation by providing an interconnected porous extracellular environment. Meanwhile, MSCs can penetrate into the fibrous scaffold through the interstitial pores and integrate well with the surrounding fibers, which is very important for favorable application in tissue engineering. More importantly, the electrospun hybrid PEG/PLA fibrous scaffolds can enhance MSCs to differentiate into bone-associated cells by comprehensively evaluating the representative markers of the osteogenic procedure with messenger ribonucleic acid quantitation and protein analysis. MSCs on the PEG/PLA fibrous scaffolds presented better differentiation potential with higher messenger ribonucleic acid expression of the earliest osteogenic marker Cbfa-1 and mid-stage osteogenic marker Col I. The significantly higher alkaline phosphatase activity of the PEG/PLA fibrous scaffolds indicated that these can enhance the differentiation of MSCs into osteoblast-like cells. Furthermore, the higher messenger ribonucleic acid level of the late osteogenic differentiation markers OCN (osteocalcin) and OPN (osteopontin), accompanied by the positive Alizarin red S staining, showed better maturation of osteogenic induction on the PEG/PLA fibrous scaffolds at the mineralization stage of differentiation. After transplantation into the thigh muscle pouches of rats, and evaluating the inflammatory cells surrounding the scaffolds and the physiological characteristics of the surrounding tissues, the PEG/PLA scaffolds presented good biocompatibility. Based on the good cellular response and excellent osteogenic potential in vitro, as well as the biocompatibility with the surrounding tissues in vivo, the electrospun PEG/PLA fibrous scaffolds could be one of the most promising candidates in bone tissue engineering.

Keywords: electrospinning, fibrous scaffolds, poly(ethylene glycol)/polylactide, mesenchymal stem cells, bone tissue engineering

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