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Modulation of physical and biological properties of a composite PLLA and polyaspartamide derivative obtained via thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) technique

  • Autori: CARFI' PAVIA, F.; Palumbo, F.; LA CARRUBBA, V.; Bongiovì, F.; Brucato, V.; Pitarresi, G.; Giammona, G.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2016
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: Chondrocytes attachment; Composite biomaterials; TIPS; Materials Science (all); Condensed Matter Physics; Mechanical Engineering; Mechanics of Materials
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In the present study, blend of poly l-lactic acid (PLLA) with a graft copolymer based on α,β-poly(N-hydroxyethyl)-dl-aspartamide and PLA named PHEA-PLA, has been used to design porous scaffold by using Thermally Induced Phase Separation (TIPS) technique. Starting from a homogeneous ternary solution of polymers, dioxane and deionised water, PLLA/PHEA-PLA porous foams have been produced by varying the polymers concentration and de-mixing temperature in metastable region. Results have shown that scaffolds prepared with a polymer concentration of 4% and de-mixing temperature of 22.5 °C are the best among those assessed, due to their optimal pore size and interconnection. SEM and DSC analysis have been carried out respectively to study scaffold morphology and the influence of PHEA-PLA on PLLA crystallization, while DMF extraction has been carried out in order to quantify PHEA-PLA into the final scaffolds. To evaluate scaffold biodegradability, a hydrolysis study has been performed until 56 days by incubating systems in a media mimicking physiological environment (pH 7.4). Results obtained have highlighted a progressive increase in weight loss with time in PLLA/PHEA-PLA scaffolds, conceivably due to the presence of PHEA-PLA and polymers interpenetration. Viability and adhesion of bovine chondrocytes seeded on the scaffolds have been studied by MTS test and SEM analysis. From results achieved it appears that the presence of PHEA-PLA increases cells affinity, allowing a faster adhesion and proliferation inside the scaffold.