In this study, a kind of biodegradable material was developed by blending polylactide (PLA) with natural biodegradable dextran, and a novel sponge-like scaffold made of it was fabricated thereof using solvent-casting and particle-leaching technique. To obtain a uniform blend of PLA and dextran by simple solvent-casting method, hydroxyls of dextran should be protected via trimethylsilyl (TMS) groups to make dextran soluble in organic solvents. Benzene was found among the few solvents that could dissolve this TMS-protected dextran (TMSD) well, however, it was not a good solvent for PLA. Therefore, a homogeneous mixed solution of PLA and TMSD could be obtained when a mixture of dichloroform (DCM) and benzene (v/v=6/4) was used. By this technique, PLA-dextran blend films and even PLA films were observed a microporous structure (pore size around 5-10μm) formation throughout the films under scanning electron microscope (SEM). Scaffolds that were prepared by dissolving PLA and TMSD in mixed solvent of DCM and benzene and using salt as porogen, were observed the formation of micropores (pore size around 5-10μm) in the cellular walls of macropores (pore size around 100-200μm). This microporous structure was closely related to the phase separation occurring during films or foams formation, which was mainly due to the different solubility of PLA and TMSD in benzene, as well as the different evaporation rates of DCM and benzene. In comparison with PLA, the surface and bulk hydrophilicity of PLA-dextran blend films or foams were significantly improved after the TMS groups were removed in methanol, and the results of cell culture on these polymeric substrates exhibited an enhancement on cell attachment and proliferation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- Mechanics of Materials