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Use of electroactive ceramic scaffolds and application of low intensity electric current in bone repair


Bone defects represent an important health problem and one of the major clinical challenges in the field of reconstructive bone surgery, especially when there is associated pathology. With increasing population longevity, fractures and critical defects assume importance in the increasing prevalence of chronic health conditions. Conventional treatments require extremely invasive transplants and approaches and, most of the time, do not meet expectations. The development of new treatments and therapies seek the reduction of failures. A promising proposal is the use of scaffolds to support cell adhesion and cell growth (osteoconduction), especially the differentiation of multipotent mesenchymal stem cells and appropriate neovascularization. Polycaprolactone-based scaffolds (PCL) have been employed in several areas of regenerative medicine because of good mechanical properties, biocompatibility, and absence of cytotoxicity. However, they are hydrophobic and there is no bioactivity. Inorganic ceramic components such as hydroxyapatite (HA) and tri-calcium phosphate (TCP), similar to natural bone, may be associated with PCL. The addition of HA may favor osteoconduction, whereas TCP to osteoinduction, making them important to be studied for clinical applicability. In preliminary studies, they did not show cytotoxicity in cell culture and promoted better cell adhesion and proliferation. Since the bone tissue responds favorably to the application of the low-intensity electric current (microcurrent), promoting the synthesis of structural proteins, cytokines and growth factors, it is expected that the use of this therapy associated with bioactive scaffolds with piezoelectric properties may provide benefits for its use in the field of regenerative medicine. In the search for an effective endogenous stimulation in the bone repair with substitutes that have electroconductive properties, the objective of this proposal is to investigate the application of electroactive ceramic scaffolds produced by additive manufacturing submitted to the application of microcurrent in bone repair (experimental osteogenesis). It is relevant in this proposal also to study in vitro model the effects of the microcurrent on osteoblasts and on the differentiation of multipotent mesenchymal stem cells. (AU)

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