In vitro evaluation of novel bioactive composites based on Bioglass®-filled polylactide foams for bone tissue engineering scaffolds

J. J. Blaker, J. E. Gough, V. Maquet, I. Notingher, A. R. Boccaccini

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Highly porous poly(DL-lactic acid) (PDLLA) foams and Bioglass®-filled PDLLA composite foams were characterized and evaluated in vitro as bone tissue engineering scaffolds. The hypothesis was that the combination of PDLLA with Bioglass® in a porous structure would result in a bioresorbable and bioactive composite, capable of supporting osteoblast adhesion, spreading and viability. Composite and unfilled foams were incubated in simulated body fluid (SBF) at 37°C to study the in vitro degradation of the polymer and to detect hydroxyapatite (HA) formation, which is a measure of the materials' in vitro bioactivity. HA was detected on all the composite samples after incubation in SBF for just 3 days. After 28 days immersion the foams filled with 40 wt % Bioglass® developed a continuous layer of HA. The formation of HA for the 5 wt % Bioglass®-filled foams was localized to the Bioglass® particles. Cell culture studies using a commercially available (ECACC) human osteosarcoma cell line (MG-63) were conducted to assess the biocompatibility of the foams and cell attachment to the porous substrates. The osteoblast cell infiltration study showed that the cells were able to migrate through the porous network and colonize the deeper regions within the foam, indicating that the composition of the foams and the pore structures are able to support osteoblast attachment, spreading, and viability. Rapid formation of HA on the composites and the attachment of MG-63 cells within the porous network of the composite foams confirms the high in vitro bioactivity and biocompatibility of these materials and their potential to be used as scaffolds in bone tissue engineering and repair. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1401-1411
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
    Issue number4
    Early online date6 Nov 2003
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2003


    • Bioactive glass
    • Bone regeneration
    • Composite materials
    • Degradable polymers
    • Tissue engineering scaffolds


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