Frontiers of Materials Science

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 47–59 | Cite as

The role of crystallinity on differential attachment/proliferation of osteoblasts and fibroblasts on poly (caprolactone-co-glycolide) polymeric surfaces

  • Helen CuiEmail author
  • Patrick J. Sinko
Research Article


The objective of the present study is to systematically evaluate the role of polymer crystallinity on fibroblast and osteoblast adhesion and proliferation using a series of poly(caprolactone-co-glycolide) (PCL/PGA) polymers. PCL/PGA polymers were selected since they reflect both highly crystalline and amorphous materials. PCL/PGA polymeric materials were fabricated by compression molding into thin films. Five compositions, from PCL or PGA to intermediate copolymeric compositions of PCL/PGA in ratios of 25:75, 35:65 and 45:55, were studied. Pure PCL and PGA represented the crystalline materials while the copolymers were amorphous. The polymers/copolymers were characterized using DSC to assess crystallinity, contact angle measurement for hydrophobicity, and AFM for nanotopography. The PCL/PGA films demonstrated similar hydrophobicity and nanotopography whereas they differed significantly in crystallinity. Cell adhesion to and proliferation on PCL/PGA films and proliferation studies were performed using osteoblasts and NIH-3T3 fibroblasts. It was observed that highly crystalline and rigid PCL and PGA surfaces were significantly more efficient in supporting fibroblast growth, whereas amorphous/flexible PCL/PGA 35:65 was significantly more efficient in supporting growth of osteoblasts. This study demonstrated that while chemical composition, hydrophobicity and surface roughness of PCL/PGA polymers were held constant, crystallinity and rigidity of PCL/PGA played major roles in determining cell responses.


crystallinity attachment proliferation osteoblast fibroblast PCL-PGA 


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Advanced Technology and Regenerative Medicine (ATRM)LLCSomervilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmaceutics, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, RutgersThe State University of New JerseyPiscatawayUSA

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