A new composition of gelatin/bioactive-glass/silver nanoparticle was synthesized and employed to prepare antibacterial macroporous scaffolds with potential applications in bone tissue engineering. A set of macroporous nanocomposite scaffolds were developed from an aqueous solution of gelatin by freeze-drying and crosslinking using genipin at ambient temperature. Silver nanoparticles were successfully synthesized in situ in gelatin solution by heat treatment reduction as a simple and "green" method in which gelatin acted as a natural reducing and stabilizing agent. The effect of the incorporation of the bioactive-glass and the silver nanoparticle concentration on the physicochemical properties of the scaffolds, such as the gel fraction, porosity, in vitro enzyme degradation, morphology, and swelling behavior was studied. Furthermore, the in vitro viability of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) and the antibacterial activity against gram-negative Escherichia coli and gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus were tested on the scaffolds. It was found that upon the addition of silver nanoparticles the porosity, pore size, swelling, and antibacterial properties were enhanced. The silver nanoparticles increased the in vitro enzyme degradation in samples without bioactive-glass; however, the degradation was remarkably reduced by addition of bioactive-glass. In addition, formation of apatite particles, the main inorganic constituent of the bone, on the surface of the bioactive-glass containing scaffolds were confirmed after immersion in simulated body fluid (SBF). The viability of hMSC on the scaffold suggested that gelatin/bioactive-glass/nanosilver scaffolds can be used as an antibacterial scaffolds.
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