A biomimetic nanofibrous poly(L-lactide) scaffold strengthened by nanohydroxyapatite particles was fabricated via a thermally induced phase separation technique. Scanning electron microscopy results showed that nanohydroxyapatite particles uniformly dispersed in the nanofibrous poly(L-lactide) scaffold (50–500 nm in fiber diameter) with slight aggregation at a high nHA content, but showed no influence on the interconnected macroporous and nanofibrous structure of the scaffold. The nanofibrous poly(L-lactide) scaffold presented a specific surface area of 34.06 m2 g−1, which was much higher than that of 2.79 m2 g−1 for the poly(L-lactide) scaffold with platelet structure. Moreover, the specific surface area of the nanofibrous scaffold was further enhanced by incorporating nanohydroxyapatite particles. With increasing the nanohydroxyapatite content, the compressive modulus and amount of bovine serum albumin adsorbed on the surface of the nanofibrous composite scaffold were markedly improved, as opposed to the decreased crystallinity. In comparison to poly(L-lactide) scaffold, both the nanofibrous poly(L-lactide) and poly(L-lactide)/nanohydroxyapatite scaffolds exhibited a faster degradation rate for their much larger specific surface area. The culture of bone mesenchymal stem cell indicated that the composite nanofibrous poly(L-lactide) scaffold with 50 wt % nanohydroxyapatite showed the highest cells viability among various poly(L-lactide)-based scaffolds. The strengthened biomimetic nanofibrous poly(L-lactide)/nanohydroxyapatite composite scaffold will be a potential candidate for bone tissue engineering. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013
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