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Dynamic Mechanical Behavior Of Starch-based Scaffolds In Dry And Physiologically Simulated Conditions: Effect Of Porosity And Pore Size.

S. Ghosh, V. Gutierrez, C. Fernández, M. Rodríguez-Perez, J. Viana, R. Reis, J. Mano
Published 2008 · Medicine, Materials Science

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The three-dimensional scaffolds of a blend of starch and poly(L-lactic) acid, SPLA70, were produced using compression molding of polymer/salt mixture followed by leaching of salt. One series of scaffolds were prepared with varying polymer-to-salt ratio while keeping the salt size constant, and the other series of scaffolds were prepared with varying salt sizes while keeping the polymer-to-salt ratio constant. The X-ray microcomputed tomography and scanning electron microscopy assay were used to analyze the porous morphologies, porosity and distribution of porosity of the porous scaffolds. Salt-free and integrated SPLA70 scaffolds with porosities ranging from 74% to 82% and pore sizes of 125-250 to 500-1000 microm can be fabricated using the present fabrication technique. The water uptake of the SPLA70 scaffolds increases with increasing porosities and also with increasing pore size. In dry state, the storage modulus decreases with increasing porosity and also with increasing pore size. The normalized modulus values are related to normalized density of the scaffolds by a power-law function with an exponent between 2 and 3. For the immersed scaffolds under physiological conditions, the storage modulus was less dependent on porosity and pore size. However, the loss factor increased significantly compared with dry state measurements. The present study clearly shows that the mechanical performance of porous polymeric constructs in dry and in immersed state is completely different, and for comparison with biomechanical performance of tissues, the tests should ideally be performed in immersed state.
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