Bone and Joint Institute

Mechanically-competent and cytocompatible polycaprolactone-borophosphosilicate hybrid biomaterials

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Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials



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© 2017 Organic-inorganic class II hybrid materials have domain sizes at the molecular level and chemical bonding between the organic and inorganic phases. We have previously reported the synthesis of class II hybrid biomaterials from alkoxysilane-functionalized polycaprolactone (PCL) and borophosphosilicate (B2O3-P2O5-SiO2) glass (BPSG) through a non-aqueous sol-gel process. In the present study, the mechanical properties and degradability of these PCL/BPSG hybrid biomaterials were studied and compared to those of their conventional composite counterparts. The compressive strength, modulus and toughness of the hybrid biomaterials were significantly greater compared to the conventional composites, likely due to the covalent bonding between the organic and inorganic phases. A hybrid biomaterial (50 wt% PCL and 50 wt% BPSG) exhibited compressive strength, modulus and toughness values of 32.2 ± 3.5 MPa, 573 ± 85 MPa and 1.54 ± 0.03 MPa, respectively; whereas the values for composite of similar composition were 18.8 ± 1.6 MPa, 275 ± 28 MPa and 0.76 ± 0.03 MPa, respectively. Degradation in phosphate-buffered saline was slower for hybrid biomaterials compared to their composite counterparts. Thus, these hybrid materials possess superior mechanical properties and more controlled degradation characteristics compared to their corresponding conventional composites. To assess in vitro cytocompatibility, MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblastic cells were seeded onto the surfaces of hybrid biomaterials and polycaprolactone (control). Compared to polycaprolactone, cells on the hybrid material displayed enhanced spreading, focal adhesion formation, and cell number, consistent with excellent cytocompatibility. Thus, based on their mechanical properties, degradability and cytocompatibility, these novel biomaterials have potential for use as scaffolds in bone tissue engineering and related applications.

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