"*Purpose/Objectives: Scaffolds with a tissue-like characteristics and suitable physical properties are critical for tissue engineering and regeneration. 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and methyl methacrylate (MMA) were commonly used for biomaterials because of their high biocompatibility and stability in the host tissue. Herein, we report porous poly(HEMA-co-MMA) scaffold for tissue engineering and soft tissue regeneration.
*Methodology: Porous poly(HEMA-co-MMA) scaffolds were developed by combining phase separation and cross-linking for soft tissue regeneration. The phase separation technic was used in the HEMA-MMA mixed solution to generate irregular micro-sized porous via polymerization. During the polymerization process, the HEMA and MMA are polymerized to poly(HEAM-co-MMA) and separated from other solvents to form interconnected porosity. The mechanical characteristics, biocompatibility and inflammatory response of the fabricated porous scaffolds were evaluated by SEM observation, cytotoxicity assay, inflammatory-related cytokine assay and rat subcutaneous implantation experiment.
*Results: The FACS assay showed that the porous scaffolds did not induce the expression of inflammatory markers like as iNOS, IL-6, TNF-α in the macrophages significantly. The WST assay and SEM image analysis for the co-cultured with porous scaffold and human dermal fibroblast showed good cytocompatibility and successful cell adhesion and cell proliferation. Also, histological analysis of rat subcutaneous implant evaluated the biocompatibility of the porous poly(HEMA-co-MMA) scaffolds.
*Conclusion/Significance: These results demonstrated that porous poly(HEMA-co-MMA) scaffolds could be fabricated and provide suitable mechanical properties and biocompatibility as biomaterials for tissue engineering. By extension, the present results suggest a promising approach of synthetic biomaterials in soft tissue engineering."