Electrospun nano-fibrous bilayer scaffold prepared from polycaprolactone/gelatin and bioactive glass for bone tissue engineering

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Chemistry Department

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Hend Elkhouly; Wael Mamdouh; Dalia I. El-Korashy

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of materials science. Materials in medicine

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This work is focused on integrating nanotechnology with bone tissue engineering (BTE) to fabricate a bilayer scaffold with enhanced biological, physical and mechanical properties, using polycaprolactone (PCL) and gelatin (Gt) as the base nanofibrous layer, followed by the deposition of a bioactive glass (BG) nanofibrous layer via the electrospinning technique. Electrospun scaffolds were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Surface area and porosity were evaluated using the nitrogen adsorption method and mercury intrusion porosimetry. Moreover, scaffold swelling rate, degradation rate and in vitro bioactivity were examined in simulated body fluid (SBF) for up to 14 days. Mechanical properties of the prepared scaffolds were evaluated. Cell cytotoxicity was assessed using MRC-5 cells. Analyses showed successful formation of bead-free uniform fibers and the incorporation of BG nanoparticles within fibers. The bilayer scaffold showed enhanced surface area and total pore volume in comparison to the composite single layer scaffold. Moreover, a hydroxyapatite-like layer with a Ca/P molar ratio of 1.4 was formed after 14 days of immersion in SBF. Furthermore, its swelling and degradation rates were significantly higher than those of pure PCL scaffold. The bilayer's tensile strength was four times higher than that of PCL/Gt scaffold with greatly enhanced elongation. Cytotoxicity test revealed the bilayer's biocompatibility. Overall analyses showed that the incorporation of BG within a bilayer scaffold enhances the scaffold's properties in comparison to those of a composite single layer scaffold, and offers potential avenues for development in the field of BTE.

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