Recently, porous magnesium and its alloys are receiving great consideration as biocompatible and biodegradable scaffolds for bone tissue engineering application. However, they presented poor antibacterial performance and corrosion resistance which limited their clinical applications. In this study, Mg-Zn (MZ) scaffold containing different concentrations of tetracycline (MZ-xTC, x = 1, 5 and 10%) were fabricated by space holder technique to meet the desirable antibacterial activity and corrosion resistance properties. The MZ-TC contains total porosity of 63-65% with pore sizes in the range of 600-800 μm in order to accommodate bone cells. The MZ scaffold presented higher compressive strength and corrosion resistance compared to pure Mg scaffold. However, tetracycline incorporation has less significant effect on the mechanical and corrosion properties of the scaffolds. Moreover, MZ-xTC scaffolds drug release profiles show an initial immediate release which is followed by more stable release patterns. The bioactivity test reveals that the MZ-xTC scaffolds are capable of developing the formation of HA layers in simulated body fluid (SBF). Next, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli bacteria were utilized to assess the antimicrobial activity of the MZ-xTC scaffolds. The findings indicate that those scaffolds that incorporate a high level concentration of tetracycline are tougher against bacterial organization than MZ scaffolds. However, the MTT assay demonstrates that the MZ scaffolds containing 1 to 5% tetracycline are more effective to sustain cell viability, whereas MZ-10TC shows some toxicity. The alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity of the MZ-(1-5)TC was considerably higher than that of MZ-10TC on the 3 and 7 days, implying higher osteoblastic differentiation. All the findings suggest that the MZ-xTC scaffolds containing 1 to 5% tetracycline is a promising candidate for bone tissue healing due to excellent antibacterial activity and biocompatibility.
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