Innovative tailor made dextran based membranes with excellent non-inflammatory response: In vivo assessment

A C Pinho, A C Fonseca, A R Caseiro, S S Pedrosa, I Amorim, M V Branquinho, M Domingos, A C Maurício, J D Santos, A C Serra, J F J Coelho

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In this work, dextran based membranes with potential to be used as implantable devices in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (TERM) were prepared by a straightforward strategy. Briefly, two polymers approved by the Food and Drug Administration, viz. dextran and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) were functionalized with methacrylate moieties, and subjected to photocrosslinking. Employing different weight ratios of each polymer in the formulations allowed to obtain transparent membranes with tunable physicochemical properties and low adverse host tissue response. Independently of the material, all formulations have shown to be thermally stable up to 300 °C whilst variations in the polymer ratio resulted in membranes with different glass transition temperatures (Tg) and flexibility. The swelling capacity ranged from 50% to 200%. On the other hand, in vitro hydrolytic degradation did not show to be material-dependent and all membranes maintained their structural integrity for more than 30 days, losing only 8-12% of their initial weight. Preliminary in vitro biological tests did not show any cytotoxic effect on seeded human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs), suggesting that, in general, all membranes are capable of supporting cell adhesion and viability. The in vivo biocompatibility of membranes implanted subcutaneously in rats' dorsum indicate that M100/0 (100%wt dextran) and M25/75 (25 %wt dextran) formulations can be classified as "slight-irritant" and "non-irritant", respectively. From the histological analysis performed on the main tissue organs it was not possible to detect any signs of fibrosis or necrosis thereby excluding the presence of toxic degradation by-products deposited or accumulated in these tissues. In combination, these results suggest that the newly developed formulations hold great potential as engineered devices for biomedical applications, where the biological response of cells and tissues are greatly dependent on the physical and chemical cues provided by the substrate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110243
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C: Materials for Biological Applications
Early online date14 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


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