Fabrication and characterization of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) microsphere/amorphous calcium phosphate scaffolds

Brian Love

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bjlove@umich.edu

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JR Popp, KE Laflin, BJ Love, and AS Goldstein (2012)

Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, 6(1):12-20.

Although hydroxyapatite (HAP) and beta-tricalcium phosphate have been used extensively as osteoconductive minerals in biomaterial scaffolds for bone regeneration, they lack the capacity to stimulate osteoblastic differentiation of progenitor cells. In contrast, amorphous calcium phosphates (ACPs), which convert to HAP under aqueous conditions, have the potential to facilitate osteoblastic differentiation through the transient local release of calcium and phosphate ions. Therefore, in this study ACPs were synthesized using zinc and zirconia divalent cations as stabilizers (denoted ZnACP and ZrACP, respectively) and compared to HAP. Analysis of ion release into serum-containing cell culture medium revealed transiently elevated levels of calcium and phosphorous, consistent with the enhanced solubility of ZrACP and ZnACP relative to HAP. In addition, X-ray diffraction analysis revealed partial conversion of ZrACP to HAP but no conversion of ZnACP after 96 h. Next, scaffolds were fabricated by sintering mixtures of 300500 mu m poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres and 0.5 wt\% calcium phosphate mineral (HAP, ZrACP or ZnACP) at 70 degrees C for 24 h. Scanning electron microscopy revealed a porous microsphere matrix with calcium phosphate particulates clinging to the microsphere surfaces both prior to and after 14 days in culture medium. Finally, the incorporation of calcium phosphate resulted in a lower compressive modulus in the range 127 to 7489 MPa. Taken together, these results indicate that ZrACP, ZnACP and HAP minerals exhibit very different properties, and therefore may elicit different osteoblastic responses in vitro. Copyright (C) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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