Journal of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

Characterization and biocompatibility of a fibrous glassy scaffold.

PMID 25712803


Bioactive glasses (BGs) are known for their ability to bond to living bone and cartilage. In general, they are readily available in powder and monolithic forms, which are not ideal for the optimal filling of bone defects with irregular shapes. In this context, the development of BG-based scaffolds containing flexible fibres is a relevant approach to improve the performance of BGs. This study is aimed at characterizing a new, highly porous, fibrous glassy scaffold and evaluating its in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility. The developed scaffolds were characterized in terms of porosity, mineralization and morphological features. Additionally, fibroblast and osteoblast cells were seeded in contact with extracts of the scaffolds to assess cell proliferation and genotoxicity after 24, 72 and 144 h. Finally, scaffolds were placed subcutaneously in rats for 15, 30 and 60 days. The scaffolds presented interconnected porous structures, and the precursor bioglass could mineralize a hydroxyapatite (HCA) layer in simulated body fluid (SBF) after only 12 h. The biomaterial elicited increased fibroblast and osteoblast cell proliferation, and no DNA damage was observed. The in vivo experiment showed degradation of the biomaterial over time, with soft tissue ingrowth into the degraded area and the presence of multinucleated giant cells around the implant. At day 60, the scaffolds were almost completely degraded and an organized granulation tissue filled the area. The results highlight the potential of this fibrous, glassy material for bone regeneration, due to its bioactive properties, non-cytotoxicity and biocompatibility. Future investigations should focus on translating these findings to orthotopic applications. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.