Functionalized PCL/HA nanocomposites as microporous membranes for bone regeneration

Functionalized PCL/HA nanocomposites as microporous membranes for bone regeneration

Mat. Sci. Eng. C-Mater. Biol. Appl. 48, 457–468 (2015)

Basile, M. A., d’Ayala, G. G., Malinconico, M., Laurienzo, P., Coudane, J., Nottelet, B., Della Ragione, F. & Oliva, A.


In the present work, microporous membranes based on poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and PCL functionalized with amine (PCL-DMAEA) or anhydride groups (PCL-MAGMA) were realized by solvent–non solvent phase inversion and proposed for use in Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR). Nanowhiskers of hydroxyapatite (HA) were also incorporated in the polymer matrix to realize nanocomposite membranes. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) showed improved interfacial adhesion with HA for functionalized polymers, and highlighted substantial differences in the porosity. A relationship between the developed porous structure of the membrane and the chemical nature of grafted groups was proposed. Compared to virgin PCL, hydrophilicity increases for functionalized PCL, while the addition of HA influences significantly the hydrophilic characteristics only in the case of virgin polymer. A significant increase of in vitro degradation rate was found for PCL-MAGMA based membranes, and at lower extent of PCL-DMAEA membranes. The novel materials were investigated regarding their potential as support for cell growth in bone repair using multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) as a model. MSC plated onto the various membranes were analyzed in terms of adhesion, proliferation and osteogenic capacity that resulted to be related to chemical as well as porous structure. In particular, PCL-DMAEA and the relative nanocomposite membranes are the most promising in terms of cell-biomaterial interactions.