Characterization of PLLA/hydroxyapatite/bioactive glass scaffolds prepared via phase separation


Investigator: Alessandro Trattaro (Visiting Master student, University of Palermo, Italy)

Alessandro Trattaro


Supervisor (Erlangen): Marcela Arango Ospina, Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini

Supervisor (Palermo): Ilenia Vitrano, Prof. Ing. Vincenzo La Carrubba


In the last decade, Tissue Engineering has become one of the main research fields regarding the restoration, maintenance and improvement of the functions related to damaged biological tissues, such as bone, skin and blood vessels. Scaffolds made of bioactive materials are usually required for the restoration of damaged human tissues [1]. In particular, in this research work different types of scaffolds for bone tissue engineering have been designed: pure PLLA scaffolds, PLLA-hydroxyapatite (HA) and PLLA-HA-bioactive glass scaffolds with two different compositions of the inorganic components. The simultaneous presence of hydroxyapatite and bioactive glass should improve cell differentiation. Moreover, the presence of hydroxyapatite allows to increase the quantity of bioactive glass present in the scaffold and to obtain a stable structure [2]. The preparation of the samples was carried out through TIPS technique (Thermal Induced Phase Separation) [3] at Department of Civil, Environmental, Aerospace, Materials Engineering, University of Palermo, Italy. Furthermore, tests to evaluate the resistance and the porosimetry of these scaffolds will be conducted in Palermo. The work at the Erlangen Institute of Bioaterials consists in the chemical and morphological characterization of the scaffolds after assessment of in vitro biodegradation by immersion in PBS and evaluation of the bioactive behavior by immersion in SBF (Simulated Body Fluid).

[1] J. A. Roether, et al., Development and in vitro characterisation of novel bioresorbable and bioactive composite materials based on polylactide foams and Bioglass® for tissue engineering applications, Biomaterials 23 (2002) 3871-3878.

[2] P. Dinarvand, E. Seyedjafari, A. Shafiee, A.B. Jandaghi, A. Doostmohammadi, M.H. Fathi, S. Farhadian, M. Soleimani, “New Approach to Bone Tissue Engineering: Simultaneous Application of Hydroxyapatite and Bioactive Glass Coated on a Poly(L-lactic acid) Scaffold”, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 3, 4518-4524, 2011.

[3] G. Ghersi, F. Carfì Pavia, G. Conoscenti, G.A. Mannella, S. Greco, S. Rigogliuso, V. La Carrubba, V. Brucato, “PLLA Scaffold via TIPS for Bone Tissue Engineering”, Chemical engineering transactions, 49, 301-306, 2016.