Ectopic bone formation in cell-seeded poly(ethylene oxide)/poly(butylene terephtalate) copolymer scaffolds of varying porosity

Menno B. Claase, Joost D. de Bruijn, Dirk W. Grijpma (Corresponding Author), Jan Feijen

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Scaffolds from poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(butylene terephthalate), PEOT/PBT, with a PEO molecular weight of 1,000 and a PEOT content of 70 weight% (1000PEOT70PBT30) were prepared by leaching salt particles (425–500 μm). Scaffolds of 73.5, 80.6 and 85.0% porosity were treated with a CO2 gas plasma and seeded with rat bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs). After in vitro culture for 7 days (d) in an osteogenic medium the scaffolds were subcutaneously implanted for 4 weeks in nude mice. Poly(d, l-lactide) (PDLLA) and biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) scaffolds were included as references. After 4 weeks (wks) all scaffolds showed ectopic formation of bone and bone marrow. For the scaffolds of different porosities, no significant differences were observed in the relative amounts of bone (7–9%) and bone marrow (6–11%) formed, even though micro computed tomography (μ-CT) data showed considerable differences in accessible pore volume and surface area. 1000PEOT70PBT30 scaffolds with a porosity of 85% could not maintain their original shape in vivo. Surprisingly, 1000PEOT70PBT30 scaffolds with a porosity of 73.5% showed cartilage formation. This cartilage formation is most likely due to poorly accessible pores in the scaffolds, as was observed in histological sections. μ-CT data showed a considerably smaller accessible pore volume (as a fraction of the total volume) than in 1000PEOT70PBT30 scaffolds of 80.6 and 85.0% porosity. BMSC seeded PDLLA (83.5% porosity) and BCP scaffolds (29% porosity) always showed considerably more bone and bone marrow formation (bone marrow formation is approximately 40%) and less fibrous tissue ingrowth than the 1000PEOT70PBT30 scaffolds. The scaffold material itself can be of great influence. In more hydrophobic and rigid scaffolds like the PDLLA or BCP scaffolds, the accessibility of the pore structure is more likely to be preserved under the prevailing physiological conditions than in the case of hydrophilic 1000PEOT70PBT30 scaffolds. Scaffolds prepared from other PEOT/PBT polymer compositions, might prove to be more suited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1299-1307
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • IR-69718
  • METIS-245516
  • Bone marrow stromal cell
  • Hard segment
  • Bone tissue engineering
  • Biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP)
  • Mercury intrusion porosimetry


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