Foaming using supercritical CO2 is a well-known process for the production of polymeric scaffolds for tissue engineering However, this method typically leads to scaffolds with low pole interconnectivity, resulting in Insufficient mass transport and a heterogeneous distribution of cells In this study, microparticulate silica was added to the polymer during processing and the effects of this particulate seeding oil the interconnectivity of the pore structure and pore size distribution were investigated Scaffolds comprising polylactide and a range of silica contents (0-50 wt %) were produced by foaming with supercritlcal CO2 Scaffold structure, pore size distributions and interconnectivity were assessed using X-ray computed microtomography Interconnectivity was also determined through physical measurements It was found that incorporation of increasing quantities of silica particles increased the interconnectivity of the scaffold pore structure. The pore size distribution was also reduced through the addition of silica, while total porosity was found to be largely independent of silica content Physical measurements and those derived from X-ray computed microtomography were comparable The conclusion drawn was that the architecture of foamed polymeric scaffolds can be advantageously manipulated through the incorporation of silica microparticles The findings of this study further establish supercritical fluid foaming as all important tool in scaffold production and show how a previous limitation call be overcome (C) 2009 Acta Materialia Inc Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Publication status||Published - 9 Aug 2009|
- X-ray microtomography
- Tissue engineering