Authors: Bailey K. Jackson, Austin J. Bow, Ganesh Kannarpady, Alexandru S. Biris, David E. Anderson, Madhu Dhar, & Shawn E. Bourdo
Publication: Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition. Volume 29, 2018 – Issue 12. https://doi.org/10.1080/09205063.2018.1464264
A wide variety of biomaterials are utilized in tissue engineering to promote cell proliferations in vitro or tissue growth in vivo. The combination of cells, extracellular matrices, and biocompatible materials may make it possible to grow functional living tissues ranging from bone to nerve cells. In bone regeneration, polymeric scaffolds can be enhanced by the addition of bioactive materials. To this end, this study designed several ratios of polyurethane (PU) and nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA) composites (PU-nHA ratios: 100/0, 90/10, 80/20, 70/30, 60/40 w/w). The physical and mechanical properties of these composites and their relative cellular compatibility in vitro were determined. The chemical composition and crystallinity of the composites were confirmed using X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and thermogravimetric analyses. Atomic force microscopy, nano-indentation, and contact angle measurements were used to evaluate surface properties. The results showed a significant increase in surface roughness and a decrease in contact angle when the nHA concentration increased above 20%, resulting in a significant increase in hydrophilicity. These surface property changes influenced cellular behavior when MC 3T3-E1 cells were seeded on the composites. All composites were cytocompatible. There was a linear increase in cell proliferation on the 80/20 and 70/30 composites only, whereas subjective evaluation demonstrated noticeable clusters or nodules of cells (considered hallmarks of osteogenic differentiation) in the absence of any osteogenic inducers only on the 90/10 and 80/20 composites. Cellular data suggests that the 80/20 composite was an optimal environment for cell adhesion, proliferation, and, potentially, osteogenic differentiation in vitro.