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Biodegradable scaffolds play a key role in contemporary medicine for tissue replacement as well as regeneration. Many degradable scaffold fabrication techniques have been developed. However, these scaffolds often hamper the growth of cells due to material hydrophobicity and/or lack of biocompatible protein coating. To overcome the common problems, in this study, the use of protein microbubbles as a porogen and drug/protein carrier to produce polymeric scaffolds with good porosity was conceptualized. Albumin bubbles were produced by sonicating bovine serum albumin in the presence of nitrogen gas. PLGA scaffolds were then prepared by thermally induced phase separation with the incorporation of protein microbubbles as porogens. SEM and cryosectioning of scaffold revealed the presence of open interconnected pores measuring around 100 to 150 mum size, which is suitable for cell migration into scaffold. This novel technique provides two distinct advantages. First, microbubbles are made of biological materials which can provide biocompatible protein coating on the pores throughout the scaffold. Second, apart from having produced scaffolds with larger pores compared to conventional methods, our novel scaffold also has the potential to function as a delivery mechanism for delivering chemokines and drugs into the polymeric matrix.
Date of Conference: 11-12 Nov. 2007