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Radiopaque Scaffolds Based on Electrospun Iodixanol/Polycaprolactone Nanofibrous Composites

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Document pages: 31 pages

Abstract: Grafts based on biodegradable polymer scaffolds are increasingly used in tissue-engineering applications as they facilitate natural tissue regeneration. However, monitoring the position and integrity of these scaffolds over time is challenging due to radiolucency. In this study, we used an electrospinning method to fabricate biodegradable scaffolds based on polycaprolactone (PCL) and iodixanol, a clinical contrast agent. Scaffolds were implanted subcutaneously into C57BL 6 mice and monitored in vivo using longitudinal X-ray imaging and micro-computed tomography (CT). The addition of iodixanol altered the physicochemical properties of the PCL scaffold; notably, as the iodixanol concentration increased, the fiber diameter decreased. Radiopacity was achieved with corresponding signal enhancement as iodine concentration increased while exhibiting a steady time-dependent decrease of 0.96 per day in vivo. The electrospun scaffolds had similar performance with tissue culture-treated polystyrene in supporting the attachment, viability, and proliferation of human mesenchymal stem cells. Furthermore, implanted PCL-I scaffolds had more intense acute inflammatory infiltrate and thicker layers of maturing fibrous tissue. In conclusion, we developed radiopaque, biodegradable, biocompatible scaffolds whose position and integrity can be monitored noninvasively. The successful development of other imaging enhancers may further expand the use of biodegradable scaffolds in tissue engineering applications.

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