PLLA biodegradable scaffolds for angiogenesis via Diffusion Induced Phase Separation (DIPS)

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A critical obstacle in tissue engineering is the inability to maintain large masses of living cells upon transfer from the in vitro culture conditions into the host in vivo. Capillaries, and the vascular system, are required to supply essential nutrients, including oxygen, remove waste products and provide a biochemical communication “highway”. For this reason it is mandatory to manufacture an implantable structure where the process of vessel formation – the angiogenesis – can take place. In this work PLLA scaffolds for vascular tissue engineering were produced by dip-coating via Diffusion Induced Phase Separation (DIPS) technique. The scaffolds, with a vessel-like shape, were obtained by performing a DIPS process around a nylon fibre whose diameter was 700 μm. The fibre was first immersed into a 4% PLLA dioxane solution and subsequently immersed into a second bath containing distilled water. The covered fibre was then rinsed in order to remove the excess of dioxane and dried; finally the internal nylon fibre was pulled out so as to obtain a hollow biodegradable PLLA fiber. SEM analysis revealed that the scaffolds have a lumen of ca. 700 μm. The internal surface is homogeneous with micropores 1–2 μm large. Moreover, a cross section analysis showed an open structure across the thickness of the scaffold walls. A cell culture of endothelial cells was carried out into the as-prepared scaffolds. The result showed that cells are able to grow within the scaffolds and after 3 weeks they begin to form a “primordial” vessel-like structure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Material Forming
Publication statusPublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


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