The effect of elastin on chondrocyte adhesion and proliferation on poly (ɛ-caprolactone)/elastin composites
The aim of this study was to demonstrate the effect of elastin on chondrocyte adhesion and proliferation within the structure of poly (ɛ-caprolactone) (PCL)/elastin composites. The homogenous 3D structure composites were constructed by using high pressure CO2 in two stages. Porous PCL structures with average pore sizes of 540 ± 21 μm and a high degree of interconnectivity were produced using gas foaming/salt leaching. The PCL scaffolds were then impregnated with elastin and cross-linked with glutaraldehyde (GA) under high pressure CO2. The effects of elastin and cross-linker concentrations on the characteristics of composites were investigated. Increasing the elastin concentration from 25 mg/ml to 100 mg/ml elevated the amount of cross-linked elastin inside the macropores of PCL. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis showed that elastin was homogeneously distributed throughout the 3D structure of all composites. The weight gain of composites increased 2-fold from 15.8 ± 0.3 to 38.3 ± 0.7 (w/w) % by increasing the elastin concentration from 25 mg/ml to 50 mg/ml and approached a plateau above this concentration. The presence of elastin within the pores of PCL improved the water uptake properties of PCL scaffolds; the water uptake ratio of PCL was enhanced 100-fold from 0.030 ± 0.005 g liquid/g polymer to 11.80 ± 0.01 g liquid/g polymer, when the elastin solution concentration was 50 mg/ml. These composites exhibited lower compressive modulus and energy loss compared to pure PCL scaffolds due to their higher water content and elasticity. In vitro studies show that these composites can support primary articular cartilage chondrocyte adhesion and proliferation within the 3D structures. These results demonstrate the potential of using PCL/elastin composites for cartilage repair.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 32, Issue 6, February 2011, Pages 1517–1525