Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine

, Volume 20, Issue 9, pp 1909–1915 | Cite as

Porous polymer/hydroxyapatite scaffolds: characterization and biocompatibility investigations

  • Timothy DouglasEmail author
  • Elzbieta Pamula
  • Dominik Hauk
  • Jörg Wiltfang
  • Sureshan Sivananthan
  • Eugene Sherry
  • Patrick H. Warnke


Poly-lactic-glycolic acid (PLGA) has been widely used as a scaffold material for bone tissue engineering applications. 3D sponge-like porous scaffolds have previously been generated through a solvent casting and salt leaching technique. In this study, polymer–ceramic composite scaffolds were created by immersing PLGA scaffolds in simulated body fluid, leading to the formation of a hydroxyapatite (HAP) coating. The presence of a HAP layer was confirmed using scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in attenuated total reflection mode. HAP-coated PLGA scaffolds were tested for their biocompatibility in vitro using human osteoblast cell cultures. Biocompatibility was assessed by standard tests for cell proliferation (MTT, WST), as well as fluorescence microscopy after standard cell vitality staining procedures. It was shown that PLGA–HAP composites support osteoblast growth and vitality, paving the way for applications as bone tissue engineering scaffolds.


Simulated Body Fluid Bone Tissue Engineering Human Osteoblast Composite Scaffold Simulated Body Fluid Solution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank the European Union for financial support within the framework of the MyJoint Project (FP-6 NEST 028861), Dr. P. Dobrzynski (CMPW, PAN, Zabrze, Poland) for the synthesis of PLGA, and G. Otto for excellent technical assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy Douglas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elzbieta Pamula
    • 2
  • Dominik Hauk
    • 1
  • Jörg Wiltfang
    • 1
  • Sureshan Sivananthan
    • 3
  • Eugene Sherry
    • 4
  • Patrick H. Warnke
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryUniversity of KielKielGermany
  2. 2.Department of Biomaterials, Faculty of Materials Science and CeramicsAGH University of Science and TechnologyKrakówPoland
  3. 3.Epsom and St. Helier University Hospital NHS Trust and South West London Elective Orthopaedic CentreUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.Faculty of Health Sciences and MedicineBond UniversityGold CoastAustralia

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