A bioactive “self-fitting” shape memory polymer scaffold with potential to treat cranio-maxillo facial bone defects
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While tissue engineering is a promising alternative for treating critical-sized cranio-maxillofacial bone defects, improvements in scaffold design are needed. In particular, scaffolds that can precisely match the irregular boundaries of bone defects as well as exhibit an interconnected pore morphology and bioactivity would enhance tissue regeneration. In this study, a shape memory polymer (SMP) scaffold was developed exhibiting an open porous structure and the capacity to conformally "self-fit" into irregular defects. The SMP scaffold was prepared via photocrosslinking of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) diacrylate using a SCPL method, which included a fused salt template. A bioactive polydopamine coating was applied to coat the pore walls. Following exposure to warm saline at T>T(trans) (T(trans)=T(m) of PCL), the scaffold became malleable and could be pressed into an irregular model defect. Cooling caused the scaffold to lock in its temporary shape within the defect. The polydopamine coating did not alter the physical properties of the scaffold. However, polydopamine-coated scaffolds exhibited superior bioactivity (i.e. formation of hydroxyapatite in vitro), osteoblast adhesion, proliferation, osteogenic gene expression and extracellular matrix deposition.
author list (cited authors)
Zhang, D., George, O. J., Petersen, K. M., Jimenez-Vergara, A. C., Hahn, M. S., & Grunlan, M. A.