Polyetheresterurethane Based Porous Scaffolds with Tailorable Architectures by Supercritical CO2 Foaming


Porous three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds are promising treatment options in regenerative medicine. Supercritical and dense-phase fluid technologies provide an attractive alternative to solvent-based scaffold fabrication methods. In this work, we report on the fabrication of poly-etheresterurethane (PPDO-PCL) based porous scaffolds with tailorable pore size, porosity, and pore interconnectivity by using supercritical CO2 (scCO2) fluid-foaming. The influence of the processing parameters such as soaking time, soaking temperature and depressurization on porosity, pore size, and interconnectivity of the foams were investigated. The average pore diameter could be varied between 100–800 μm along with a porosity in the range from (19 ± 3 to 61 ± 6)% and interconnectivity of up to 82%. To demonstrate their applicability as scaffold materials, selected foams were sterilized via ethylene oxide sterilization. They showed negligible cytotoxicity in tests according to DIN EN ISO 10993-5 and 10993-12 using L929 cells. The study demonstrated that the pore size, porosity and the interconnectivity of this multi-phase semicrystalline polymer could be tailored by careful control of the processing parameters during the scCO2 foaming process. In this way, PPDO-PCL scaffolds with high porosity and interconnectivity are potential candidate materials for regenerative treatment options.
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