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Designing Porous Bone Tissue Engineering Scaffolds with Enhanced Mechanical Properties from Composite Hydrogels Composed of Modified Alginate, Gelatin, and Bioactive Glass

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Institute of Biomaterials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Cauerstrasse 6, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
Cite this: ACS Biomater. Sci. Eng. 2016, 2, 12, 2240–2254
Publication Date (Web):October 3, 2016
Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society

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    The combination of biodegradable polymers and bioactive inorganic materials is being widely used for designing bone tissue engineering scaffolds. Here we report a composite hydrogel system composed of bioactive glass incorporated in covalently cross-linked oxidized alginate-gelatin hydrogel (ADA-GEL) for designing porous scaffolds with tunable stiffness and degradability using freeze-drying technique. Because of the presence of bioactive glass, the cross-linking kinetic and cross-linking degree of the hydrogels are significantly increased, which is the main factor for the measured enhanced mechanical strength of the bioactive glass containing ADA-GEL scaffolds. The hydrogels with high cross-linking degree exhibit low protein release profile and low degradability. Apatite formation on bioactive glass containing hydrogel-based scaffolds is confirmed by FTIR. Bone marrow-derived stromal cell growth is promoted in pristine ADA-GEL and 1% bioactive glass containing ADA-GEL scaffolds compared to the scaffolds of pure alginate, alginate–gelatin blended hydrogel, and 5% bioactive glass containing ADA-GEL. Initial studies indicated that the scaffolds, especially without bioactive glass, support osteogenic differentiation of murine bone marrow stromal cell line in the absence of foreign osteogenic stimulating supplements; however, they exhibit low levels of osteogenic expression.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.6b00470.

    • Compressive stress–strain curves of the as-fabricated scaffolds and after 28 days of incubation in SBF; SEM images of the ADA-GEL-5BG scaffolds after various incubation periods in SBF; and SEM images of ST-2 cells grown on ADA-GEL-1BG scaffolds (PDF)

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