Effects of Surface Modification on the Mechanical and Structural Properties of Nanofibrous Poly(caprolactone)/Forsterite Scaffold for Tissue Engineering Applications
Composite scaffolds consisting of polymers reinforced with ceramic nanoparticles are widely applied for hard tissue engineering. However, due to the incompatible polarity of ceramic nanoparticles with polymers, they tend to agglomerate in the polymer matrix which results in undesirable effects on the integral properties of composites. In this research, forsterite (Mg2SiO4) nanoparticles was surface esterified by dodecyl alcohol and nanofibrous poly(ε-caprolactone)(PCL)/modified forsterite scaffolds were developed through electrospinning technique. The aim of this research was to investigate the properties of surface modified forsterite nanopowder and PCL/modified forsterite scaffolds, before and after hydrolytic treatment, as well as the cellular attachment and proliferation. Results demonstrated that surface modification of nanoparticles significantly enhanced the tensile strength and toughness of scaffolds upon 1.5- and 4-folds compared to unmodified samples, respectively, due to improved compatibility between matrix and filler. Hydrolytic treatment of scaffolds also modified the bioactivity and cellular attachment and proliferation due to greatly enhanced hydrophilicity of the forsterite nanoparticles after this process compared to surfacemodified samples. Results suggested that surface modification of forsterite nanopowder and hydrolytic treatment of the developed scaffolds were effective approaches to address the issues in the formation of composite fibers and resulted in development of bioactive composite scaffoldswith ideal mechanical and structural properties for bone tissue engineering applications.