Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Anatomy and Cell Biology


Dr. Douglas Hamilton


Guided tissue regeneration (GTR) to regenerate periodontal tissue involves placement of a cell-occlusive barrier membrane functionally excluding the gingiva and associated oral epithelium from the periodontal defect. Gingival connective tissue (CT) contains a rich vascular plexus and is a source of progenitor cells which could contribute to periodontal regeneration. We propose the use of a novel biodegradable and bioactive electrospun fibrous polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffold loaded with microspheres releasing basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) to promote gingival CT growth while maintaining a barrier to the oral epithelium. Scaffolds supported human gingival fibroblast proliferation and mesenchymal cell infiltration in a bFGF dose dependent manner. Oral epithelial cells were excluded from the interior of the scaffolds. Scaffold treatment during early healing of rat gingival wounds showed good biocompatibility. This study suggests that PCL electrospun scaffolds loaded with bFGF microspheres represent a promising alternative to the current generation of GTR barrier membranes.