Tissue engineering (TE) is an emerging field aimed at repairing defective tissues and organ, instead of relying on conventional organ transplantation. Among the polymeric materials proposed for TE applications, the water-soluble polymers have been frequently used in form of hydrogels, that are a class of highly hydrated polymer materials. Nevertheless, hydrogel materials have poor mechanical properties; as a result, this scaffolding approach is seldom used for hard tissues applications. With the aim of overcoming this limitation, drying processes have been often applied to eliminate the water from hydrogels and amply the range of applications of the water-soluble polymeric scaffolds, but these techniques present several limitations. For this reason, in this work we proposed a supercritical gel drying method coupled with a water/solvent substitution step. PVA, Alginate and Chitosan hydrogels were processed and opportunely characterized from a macroscopic and microscopic point of view. Supercritical gel drying process confirmed to be effectiveness for the formation of polymeric scaffolds; in particular, we obtained stable 3-D structures with nanometric porous morphologies suitable for TE applications.

Supercritical Gel Drying of Polymeric Hydrogels for Tissue Engineering Applications

CARDEA, STEFANO
;
BALDINO, LUCIA;DE MARCO, Iolanda;REVERCHON, Ernesto
2013

Abstract

Tissue engineering (TE) is an emerging field aimed at repairing defective tissues and organ, instead of relying on conventional organ transplantation. Among the polymeric materials proposed for TE applications, the water-soluble polymers have been frequently used in form of hydrogels, that are a class of highly hydrated polymer materials. Nevertheless, hydrogel materials have poor mechanical properties; as a result, this scaffolding approach is seldom used for hard tissues applications. With the aim of overcoming this limitation, drying processes have been often applied to eliminate the water from hydrogels and amply the range of applications of the water-soluble polymeric scaffolds, but these techniques present several limitations. For this reason, in this work we proposed a supercritical gel drying method coupled with a water/solvent substitution step. PVA, Alginate and Chitosan hydrogels were processed and opportunely characterized from a macroscopic and microscopic point of view. Supercritical gel drying process confirmed to be effectiveness for the formation of polymeric scaffolds; in particular, we obtained stable 3-D structures with nanometric porous morphologies suitable for TE applications.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4091655
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