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Frontiers of Materials Science

Front Mater Sci    2013, Vol. 7 Issue (1) : 76-82     DOI: 10.1007/s11706-013-0188-6
A study on the in vitro degradation of poly(L-lactide)/chitosan microspheres scaffolds
Ning ZHU1(), David COOPER2, Xiong-Biao CHEN1,3, Catherine Hui NIU4
1. Division of Biomedical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; 2. Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; 3. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; 4. Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
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Recent research shows that the addition of chitosan microspheres (CMs) to poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) can result in a composite scaffold material with improved biocompatibility and mechanical properties for tissue engineering applications. However, research regarding the influence of CMs on scaffold degradation is absent in the literature. This paper presents a study on the in vitro degradation of scaffolds made from PLLA with CMs. In this study, the PLLA/CMs scaffolds with a 25% ratio of CMs to PLLA were immersed in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) solution at 37°C for 8 weeks. The in vitro degradation of the scaffolds was investigated using micro-computed tomography (μCT), weight loss analysis, Raman spectroscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Microstructure changes during degradation were monitored using μCT. The μCT results were consistent with the results obtained from Raman spectra and DSC analysis, which reflected that adding CMs into PLLA can decrease the degradation rate compared with pure PLLA scaffolds. The results suggest that PLLA/CMs scaffold degradation can be regulated and controlled to meet requirements imposed a given tissue engineering application.

Keywords poly(L-lactide) (PLLA)      chitosan      scaffold      degradation      tissue engineering     
Corresponding Authors: ZHU Ning,   
Issue Date: 05 March 2013
 Cite this article:   
Ning ZHU,David COOPER,Xiong-Biao CHEN, et al. A study on the in vitro degradation of poly(L-lactide)/chitosan microspheres scaffolds[J]. Front Mater Sci, 2013, 7(1): 76-82.
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Ning ZHU
Xiong-Biao CHEN
Catherine Hui NIU
Fig.1  Micro-tomography quantitative analysis for pore size distribution of PLLA and PLLA/CMs scaffolds at time point 0, 6, and 8 weeks during scaffold degradation in PBS for 8 weeks .
Fig.2  Weight loss fraction of PLLA and PLLA/CMs scaffolds during scaffold degradation in PBS for 8 weeks.
Fig.3  Raman spectra of both PLLA and PLLA/CMs scaffolds during degradation in PBS for 8 weeks : PLLA scaffolds degraded for 0 week (a); PLLA scaffolds degraded for 8 weeks (b); PLLA/CMs scaffolds degraded for 0 week (c); PLLA/CMs scaffolds degraded for 8 weeks (d).
Fig.4  Raman / intensity ratios for PLLA and PLLA/CMs scaffolds during degradation in PBS for 8 weeks .
SampleTime/weekΔH /(J·g-1)χ /%
Tab.1  Thermodynamic characteristics of PLLA and PLLA/CMs after scaffold degradation in PBS for 0, 2, 4, 8 weeks
Fig.5  Crystallinity () of PLLA in PLLA and PLLA/CMs scaffolds as a function of degradation time.
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