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Porous Bioactive Nanofibers via Cryogenic Solution Blow Spinning and Their Formation into 3D Macroporous Scaffolds

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Materials and Biosystems Laboratory (LAMAB), Department of Materials Engineering (DEMat), Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB), CEP58051-900 João Pessoa-PB, Brazil
Polymer and Composite Engineering (PaCE) Group, Institute of Materials Chemistry and Research, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Vienna, Währingerstr. 42, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
§ Institute of Biomaterials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
Department of Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 0E8, Canada
Bio-/Active Materials Group, School of Materials, MSS Tower, Manchester University, Manchester M13 9PL, U.K.
Cite this: ACS Biomater. Sci. Eng. 2016, 2, 9, 1442–1449
Publication Date (Web):July 19, 2016
Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society

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    There is increasing focus on the development of bioactive scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine that mimic the native nanofibrillar extracellular matrix. Solution blow spinning (SBS) is a rapid, simple technique that produces nanofibers with open fiber networks for enhanced cell infiltration. In this work, highly porous bioactive fibers were produced by combining SBS with thermally induced phase separation. Fibers composed of poly(d,l-lactide) (PLA) and dimethyl carbonate were sprayed directly into a cryogenic environment and subsequently lyophilized, rendering them highly porous. The surface areas of the porous fibers were an order of magnitude higher in comparison with smooth control fibers of the same diameter (43.5 m2·g–1 for porous fibers produced from 15% w/v PLA in dimethyl carbonate) and exhibited elongated surface pores. Macroporous scaffolds were produced by spraying water droplets simultaneously with fiber formation, creating a network of fibers and ice microspheres, which act as in situ macroporosifiers. Subsequent lyophilization resulted in three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds formed of porous nanofibers with interconnected macropores due to the presence of the ice spheres. Nanobioactive glass was incorporated for the production of 3D macroporous, bioactive, therapeutic-ion-releasing scaffolds with potential applications in non-load-bearing bone tissue engineering. The bioactive characteristics of the fibers were assessed in vitro through immersion in simulated body fluid. The release of soluble silica ions was faster for the porous fibers within the first 24 h, with confirmation of hydroxyapatite on the fiber surface within 84 h.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.6b00072.

    • Further experimental details for TGA and determination of macroporosity due to ice microspheres; additional SEM images of porous fibers and spheres produced from 15, 10, and 4% w/v solutions of PDLLA in DMC (Figure S1); results of apparent contact angle measurements on smooth and porous fibers as a function of starting polymer concentration (Figure S2); TGA results to confirm loading nBG particles (Figure S3); histograms showing macropore diameters as a function of water flux and SBS air pressure (Figure S4); SEM image showing HA deposition on 10nBG fibers after 3.5 days in SBF (Figure S5); SEM images showing typical HA morphology on the 10nBG fibers after 7.5 days in SBF at low and medium magnification (Figure S6); XRD data showing predominantly HA on this scaffold after 7.5 days in SBF (Figure S7) (PDF)

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