In this study, the fabrication and characterization of highly porous composites composed of poly(ε-caprolactone) and bioactive mesoporous silicon (BioSilicon) prepared using salt-leaching and microemulsion/freeze- drying methods are described. The role of silicon, along with porosity, in the scaffolds on calcium phosphate deposition was assessed using acellular in vitro calcification analyses. The presence of bioactive silicon in these scaffolds is essential for the deposition of calcium phosphate while the samples are immersed in simulated body fluid (SBF). Silicon-containing scaffolds produced using salt-leaching methods are more likely to calcify as a consequence of SBF exposure than those produced using microemulsion methods. In vitro proliferation and cell viability assays of these porous composites using human embryonic kidney fibroblast cells indicate that no cytotoxic effects are present in the scaffolds under the conditions used. Preliminary analyses of bone sialoprotein and alkaline phosphatase expression using orthopedically relevant mesenchymal cells derived from bone marrow suggest that such scaffolds are capable of mediating osteoblast differentiation. Overall, the results show that these porous silicon-containing polymer scaffolds enhance calcification, can be considered nontoxic to cells, and support the proliferation, viability, attachment, and differentiation of bone precursor cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering