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Surface modification of porous scaffolds with nanothick collagen layer by centrifugation and freeze-drying



Three-dimensional (3D) porous scaffolds constructed from biodegradable synthetic polymers are frequently used in tissue engineering. Their surfaces are hydrophobic and require treatment to be changed to hydrophilic before use in cell culture. We developed a novel surface modification for 3D porous scaffolds made of synthetic polymers by coating the surfaces of the pores with a nanothick collagen layer. First, a collagen aqueous solution was introduced under reduced pressure to fully fill the pores of the PLGA sponges. The collagen-containing sponges were then centrifuged to remove any excess collagen solution. Finally, the sponges were freeze-dried to form a thin collagen layer. Scanning electron microscopy observation and water absorption tests demonstrated that the excess collagen was removed; the effect of modification was evident when the collagen-containing sponges were centrifuged at high centrifugal acceleration. Scanning probe microscopy analysis demonstrated the formation of a nanometer-thick collagen layer on the PLGA surface. The collagen-coated PLGA sponges facilitated cell seeding and spatial distribution. The method will be useful for the surface modification of 3D porous scaffolds. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2009