John Garner

PLGA from PolySciTech used in development of ceramic nanocomposites for tissue engineering applications

Blog Post created by John Garner on Jun 19, 2018

Wetteland, 2018 PLGA-ceramics.jpg

Advanced ceramics and bioactive polymers represent two classes of rapidly developing materials which hold great promise for a wide variety of applications. Tissue engineering refers to the regrowth of missing or damaged tissue and is a medical field which can be used for a wide variety of trauma cases or disease states. Typically, this requires some form of a scaffold or structure for the newly forming cells to grow on. Recently, researchers from University of California Riverside used PLGA (PolyVivo AP036) from PolySciTech ( to develop a composite with both optical clarity as well as capacity to provide for cell growth. This composite has great promise for a wide variety of tissue engineering applications. Read more: Wetteland, Cheyann Lee, and Huinan Liu. "Optical and Biological Properties of Polymer‐based Nanocomposites with Improved Dispersion of Ceramic Nanoparticles." Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A (2018).


“Abstract: This article reports a new process for creating polymer‐based nanocomposites with enhanced dispersion of ceramic nanoparticles without using any surfactants, and the resulted changes in their optical and biological properties. Specifically, dispersion of two different ceramic nanoparticles, i.e, hydroxyapatite (nHA) and magnesium oxide (nMgO) nanoparticles, in a model biodegradable polymer, namely poly (lactic‐co‐glycolic acid) (PLGA), was studied. High‐power sonication was integrated with dual asymmetric centrifugal (DAC) mixing to improve dispersion of nanoparticles during solvent casting. The polymer/solvent ratio was optimized to improve nanoparticle dispersion in the multistep processing, including enhancing the efficacy of sonication and DAC mixing and reducing nanoparticle sedimentation during solvent‐casting. Microstructural characterization confirmed that this new process improved nanoparticle dispersion in nMgO/PLGA and nHA/PLGA nanocomposites. Improved nanoparticle dispersion increased the optical transparency visually and optical transmission quantitatively for both nHA/PLGA and nMgO/PLGA nanocomposites. Improved dispersion of nanoparticles improved the adhesion of bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) on nHA/PLGA but decreased BMSC viability on nMgO/PLGA. This difference is likely because the chemistry of nHA and nMgO had different effects on BMSCs. This study provided a new process for enhancing dispersion of ceramic nanoparticles in a polymer matrix and revealed the effects of dispersion on optical properties and cell responses, which are valuable for engineering optimal ceramic/polymer nanocomposites for different biomedical applications.”


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