Effects of sterilisation method on surface topography and in-vitro cell behaviour of electrostatically spun scaffolds
Electrostatic spinning is a potentially significant technique for scaffold production within the field of tissue engineering; however, the effect of sterilisation upon these structures is not known. This research investigated the extent of any topographical alteration to electrostatically spun scaffolds post-production through sterilisation, and examined any subsequent effect on contacting cells. Scaffolds made from Tecoflex® SG-80A polyurethane were sterilised using ethylene oxide and UV-ozone. Scaffold topography was characterized in terms of inter-fibre separation (ifs), fibre diameter (f.dia) and surface roughness. Cell culture was performed over 7 days with both mouse L929 and human embryonic lung fibroblasts, the results of which were assessed using SEM, image analysis and confocal microscopy. Sterilisation by UV-ozone and ethylene oxide decreased ifs and increased f.dia; surface roughness was decreased by UV-ozone but increased by ethylene oxide. Possible mechanisms to explain these observations are discussed, namely photo-oxidative degradation in the case of UV-ozone and process-induced changes in surface roughness. UV-ozone sterilised scaffolds showed greater cell coverage than those treated with ethylene oxide, but lower coverage than all the controls. Changes in cell attachment and morphology were thought to be due to the changes in topography brought about by the sterilisation process. We conclude that surface modification by sterilisation could prove to be a useful tool at the final stage of scaffold production to enhance cell contact, phenotype or function.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 28, Issue 6, February 2007, Pages 1014–1026