Bone is a living tissue that constantly remodels and adapts to the stresses imposed upon it. Bone disorders are of growing concern as the median age of our population rises. Healing and recovery from fractures requires bone cells to have a 3-dimensional (3D) structural base, or scaffold, to grow out from. In addition to providing mechanical support, the scaffold, an extracellular matrix (ECM) assembly, enables the transport of nutrients and oxygen in and removal of waste materials from cells that are growing into new tissue. In this research, a 3D scaffold was synthesized with chitosan (CS), carboxymethyl chitosan (CMC), calcium phosphate monobasic and magnesium oxide (MgO). CS is a positiviely-charged natural bioactive polymer. It is combined with its negatively-charged derivative, CMC, to form a complex scaffold. Magnesium phosphate biocement (MgP), formed by reacting calcium phosphate monobasic and MgO, was incorporated into CMC solution before adding CS solution. Scaffolds were prepared by casting, freezing and lyophilization. The scaffolds were characterized in terms of pore microstructures, surface topography, water uptake and retention abilities, and crystal structure. The results show that the developed scaffolds exhibit highly interconnected pores and present the ideal pore size range (100–300 μm) to be morphometrically suitable for the proposed bone tissue engineering applications. These scaffolds not only mimic the nanostructured architecture and the chemical composition of natural bone tissue matrices but also serve as a source for soluble ions of magnesium (Mg++) and calcium (Ca++) that are favorable to osteoblast cells. The scaffolds thus provide a desirable microenvironment to facilitate biomineralization. These observations provide a new effective approach for preparing scaffold materials suitable for bone tissue engineering.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.