Biodegradable elastomeric scaffolds for soft tissue engineering

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Elastomeric copolymers of 1,3-trimethylene carbonate (TMC) and ε-caprolactone (CL) and copolymers of TMC and D,L-lactide (DLLA) have been evaluated as candidate materials for the preparation of biodegradable scaffolds for soft tissue engineering. TMC-DLLA copolymers are amorphous and degrade more rapidly in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) of pH 7.4 at 37 °C than (semi-crystalline) TMC-CL copolymers. TMC-DLLA with 20 or 50 mol% TMC loose their tensile strength in less than 5 months and are totally resorbed in 11 months. In PBS, TMC-CL copolymers retain suitable mechanical properties for more than a year. Cell seeding studies show that rat cardiomyocytes and human Schwann cells attach and proliferate well on the TMC-based copolymers. TMC-DLLA copolymers with either 20 or 50 mol% of TMC are totally amorphous and very flexible, making them excellent polymers for the preparation of porous scaffolds for heart tissue engineering. Porous structures of TMC-DLLA copolymers were prepared by compression molding and particulate leaching techniques. TMC-CL (co)polymers were processed into porous two-ply tubes by means of salt leaching (inner layer) and fiber winding (outer layer) techniques. These grafts, seeded with Schwann cells, will be used as nerve guides for the bridging of large peripheral nerve defects.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)69-79
JournalJournal of controlled release
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • In vitro hydrolysis
  • Soft tissue engineering
  • Porous structures
  • IR-71922
  • Poly(ester carbonate)s
  • METIS-216604

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