In previous studies in rats and goats, hydrophilic compositions of the PEOT/PBT block copolymer family have shown in vivo calcification and bone bonding. These copolymers are therefore interesting candidates as scaffolding materials in bone tissue engineering applications. Model studies using goat bone marrow stromal cells, however, showed that it was not possible to culture bone marrow stromal cells in vitro on these hydrophilic copolymers. In this paper two ways of surface modifying these materials to improve in vitro bone marrow stromal cell attachment and growth are discussed. Two different approaches are described: (1) blending of hydroxyapatite (HA) followed by CO2 gas plasma etching; (2) surface modification using CO2 gas plasma treatments. It was observed that not only HA but also the CO2 plasma treatment by itself has a positive effect on bone marrow stromal cell attachment and growth. Gas plasma treatment appeared to be the most successful approach, resulting in a large increase in the amount of bone marrow stromal cells present on the surface (determined by a DNA assay). The amount of DNA present on the plasma-treated copolymer 1000/70/30 PEOT/PBT, based on poly(ethylene oxide, Mw = 1000, 70 m% soft segment), was comparable to the amount present on PDLLA and significantly higher than the amount present on PCL after 7 days of cell culturing. The fact that after gas plasma treatment bone marrow stromal cells do attach to PEOT/PBT copolymers, enables in vitro bone marrow stromal cell culturing, making bone tissue engineering applications of these materials possible.
Claase, M. B., Olde riekerink, M. B., de Bruijn, J. D., Grijpma, D. W., Engbers, G. H. M., & Feijen, J. (2003). Enhanced bone marrow stromal cell adhesion and growth on segmented poly(ether ester)s based on poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(butylene terephthalate). Biomacromolecules, 4(1), 57-63. https://doi.org/10.1021/bm0256045