Mineralisation of chitosan scaffolds with nano-apatite formation by double diffusion technique
The study of inorganic crystal assembly in organic matrices has given rise to increasing interest in various fields of materials science to the natural process of biomineralisation. To mimic the formation of hydroxyapatite as natural bone, a double diffusion technique is utilised in this study to nucleate the hydroxyapatite crystals onto three-dimensional porous polymeric scaffolds. The porous polymer scaffolds were produced from chitosan by a thermally induced lyophilisation technique, which yields highly porous, well-controlled anisotropic open pore architecture. The nucleation of hydroxyapatite crystals was initiated at ambient conditions on the surface of the polymer scaffold, which was in contact with a calcium solution chamber, due to diffusion of phosphate ions through the scaffold. The morphology of the mineralised scaffold as analysed by scanning electron microscopy shows that apatite crystals were not only formed on the surface of the scaffold, but also in the pore channels and attached to the pore walls. The X-ray diffraction and Fourier transformed infrared analyses confirmed the phase purity of the formed apatite crystals. The transmission electron microscopy analysis reveals the microstructure of the entangled nano-apatite in the chitosan polymeric matrix. The in-vitro cytocompatibility tests with osteoblast-like cells (Saos-2) demonstrated that the biomineralised scaffold is a suitable substrate for cell attachment and migration in bone tissue engineering.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 2, Issue 1, January 2006, Pages 75–84