METHODS: Both white and dark poly(caprolactone) trifumarate macromers were characterized via Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy before being chemically cross-linked and molded into disc-shaped scaffolds. Biodegradability was assessed by percentage weight loss on days 7, 14, 28, 42 and 56 (n = 5) after immersion in 10% serum-supplemented medium or distilled water. Static cell seeding was employed in which isolated and characterized rat bone marrow stromal cells were seeded directly onto the scaffold surface. Seeded scaffolds were subjected to a series of biochemical assays and scanning electron microscopy at specified time intervals for up to 28 days of incubation.
RESULTS: The degradation of the white scaffold was significantly lower compared with the dark scaffold but was within the acceptable time range for bone-healing processes. The deoxyribonucleic acid and collagen contents increased up to day 28 with no significant difference between the two scaffolds, but the glycosaminoglycan content was slightly higher in the white scaffold throughout 14 days of incubation. Scanning electron microscopy at day 1 [corrected] revealed cellular growth and attachment.
CONCLUSIONS: There was no cell growth advantage between the two forms, but the white scaffold had a slower biodegradability rate, suggesting that the newly synthesized poly(caprolactone) trifumarate is more suitable for use as a bone tissue engineering scaffold.
METHOD: A strain comprising 10% direct compression and 1% compressive shear was applied to bovine chondrocytes seeded in an agarose gel during two 12-hour conditioning periods separated by a 12-hour resting period.
RESULTS: The bi-axial-loaded chondrocytes demonstrated a significant increase in glycosaminoglycan synthesis compared with samples exposed to uni-axial or no loading over the same period (p<0.05). The use of a free-swelling recovery period prior to the loading regime resulted in additional glycosaminoglycan production and a significant increase in DNA content (p<0.05), indicating cell proliferation.
CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that the use of a bi-axial loading regime results in increased matrix production compared with uni-axial loading.