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ICE Krakow

ICE Krakow

ul. Marii Konopnickiej 17 30-302 Kraków


Rosińska, Karolina (Lodz University of Technology)


Bone is one of the most important composite building materials, which is the main component of the human skeleton [1]. It is estimated that the total number of fractures in the European Union will increase from 2.7 million in 2017 to 3.3 million in 2030. The resulting annual costs associated with fractures are expected to increase by 27%. Furthermore, as the population ages, this figure is expected to increase continuously. In this context, new biomaterials are constantly being developed to regenerate bone fractures and support tissues damaged by progressive osteoporosis. Typically, they are designed to promote optimal integration of bone with the implanted scaffold until complete bone regeneration. Hydrogels are among the most promising biomaterials for tissue engineering applications. In bone tissue engineering, hydrogel materials are used as scaffolds for growth factor transport and cell adhesion [1-3]. This is due to the fact that they show a high ability to mimic natural tissues - higher compared to other biomaterials [4]. It is often difficult to identify a one ideal polymer for the preparation of hydrogels due to the limited possibilities of modifying their properties and for this reason mixes of polymers are increasingly used, which allows modification of their parameters such as mechanical properties or microstructure and surface morphology. Alginate-gelatin binary hydrogels are among the most commonly used materials in tissue engineering [5]. The research work carried out on the influence of alginate-gelatin hydrogel fabrication parameters on the properties of the obtained materials indicated the further need for their modification to improve mechanical properties. One potential solution to this problem is to incorporate additional reinforcing structures into the hydrogel matrix [6], e.g. by introducing additional reinforcement in the form of a 3D printed polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffold. The aim of this study was to develop a hybrid alginate-gelatin scaffold with additional reinforcement in the form of a 3D printed PCL scaffold crosslinked with strontium chloride. The obtained hybrid scaffolds were characterized in terms of mechanical (Young's modulus), biological (in direct and indirect contact with osteoblast-like Saos-2 cells) and physicochemical (degradability) properties. The obtained results confirmed the biocompatibility of the obtained hybrid scaffolds in both indirect and direct test. The introduction of additional reinforcement significantly improved the mechanical properties. The hydrogel material did not separate from the PCL scaffold during degradation testing which indicates a solid bond between these materials. On the basis of the obtained results it was concluded that by introducing an additional scaffold printed with PCL it is possible to obtain hybrid scaffolds of increased stiffness and simultaneously high biocompatibility to support the treatment of bone tissue defects.

[1]Tozzi, G. et al., Materials (Basel) 9, 267 (2016).
[2] Borgström, F. et al., Arch Osteoporos 15 59 (2020).
[3] Sheikh Z, Najeeb S. et al., Materials (Basel) 8(9), 5744-5794 (2015).
[4] Caló, E. et al., European Polymer Journal 65, 252-267 (2015).
[5] Łabowska, M. et al., Materials (Basel) 14(4), 858 (2021).
[6] Sara C. et al., Trends Biotechnol. 38(3), 292-315 (2020).

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