Effect of PEG–PLLA diblock copolymer on macroporous PLLA scaffolds by thermally induced phase separation
A regular and highly interconnected macroporous poly(l-lactic acid) (PLLA) scaffold was fabricated from a PLLA–dioxane–water ternary system with added polyethylene glycol (PEG)–PLLA diblock using thermally induced phase separation (TIPS). The morphology of the scaffold was investigated in detail by controlling the following TIPS parameters: quenching temperature, aging time, polymer concentration, molecular structure, and diblock concentration. The phase diagram was assessed visually on the basis of the turbidity. The cloud-point curve shifted to higher temperatures with increasing PEG content in the additives (PEG–PLLA diblocks), due to a stronger interaction between PEG and water in solution. The addition of diblock series (0.5 wt% in solution) stabilized interconnections of pores at a later stage without segregation or sedimentation. The pore size of the scaffold could be easily controlled in the range 50–300 μm. A macroporous PLLA scaffold was used to study an MC3T3-E1 cell (an osteoblast-like cell) culture. The cells successfully proliferated in the PLLA scaffold in the presence of added PEG-PLLA diblock for 4 weeks.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 25, Issue 12, May 2004, Pages 2319–2329