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Development of scaffolds of poly(caprolactone) incorporated with biosilicato and cellulose nanocristals for Bone Tissue Engineering

Grant number: 14/17939-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2014
Effective date (End): September 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Ana Maria Minarelli Gaspar
Grantee:Caroline Faria Bellani
Home Institution: Faculdade de Odontologia (FOAr). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):16/04418-8 - Suturable vessel grafts from electrospun tubes for rapid vascularization of bone tissue engineered constructs, BE.EP.DD

Abstract

Tissue Engineering is an interdisciplinary field that applies the principles of Engineering and Life Sciences for the development of biological substitutes to restore, maintain or improve tissue function. This methodology is based on Tissue Engineering scaffolds, or three-dimensional matrices, which guide and modulate cell differentiation and proliferation according to their intrinsic properties, allowing the reconstruction of various tissues, such as bone. The general criteria to develop appropriate scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering are the type of material used as well as its architecture and porosity, the surface chemistry and the mechanical properties that have to be appropriate to the host bone. The electrospinning process allows to produce scaffolds from biodegradable polymers, such as poly (-caprolactone) (PCL), which have similar architecture and porosity to the extracellular matrix (ECM). However, most of these materials exhibit unsatisfactory durability and mechanical stability, which can be critical limitations to their wider use according the desired properties. Therefore, the search for biocompatible materials with suitable properties has become a priority in research of electrospun scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNC) are biodegradable and non-toxic, constituted by short, crystalline, hydrophilic rod-shaped chains, whose length varies in the order of micro to nanometers, with a Young Modulus estimated at 138 GPa and tensile stress at break estimated at 7 GPa. Moreover, it had previously been shown that the addition of CNC in polymeric electrospun mats improve the mechanical properties of the scaffolds according to the proportion of CNC. Thus, it is possible to adapt the mechanical properties of the scaffolds by adding CNC according to the intended application. Recently it has been developed at the Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos, SP, a ceramic glass with high bioactivity named Biosilicato® (PI 0300644-1), intended for application in medical and dental areas. By incorporating Biosilicato® in PCL electrospun mats, it is possible to produce scaffolds with bioactive properties provided by the bioceramic, while PCL polymer phase increases the degree of flexibility of the material, reducing its brittleness. The aims of the present research project are: to develop electrospun PCL scaffolds incorporated with Biosilicato® and cellulose nanocrystals which results in a biomaterial with bioactive properties, osteogenic induction and appropriate biomechanical properties for applications in tissue engineering and bone regeneration; to investigate the ability of the obtained scaffolds to support cell growth, differentiation and in vitro and in vivo bone formation; to develop and/or improve biomaterials with potential applications in tissue engineering and bone regeneration. (AU)