Here we present the preparation of a macroporous sponge-like scaffold based on partially acetylated dextran (DexAc) by the thermally-induced phase separation method. The hydrophobic acetate groups stabilized the formed micrometer pores in which water can enter easily due to the hydrophilic nature of the remaining hydroxyl groups. The presence of hydrophobic patches was confirmed by physical adsorption of a lipophilic dye and this feature was exploited to confer biofunctionality to the porous sponge by adsorbing fluorescently-labeled fibronectin as shown by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Culturing of HeLa cells in the DexAc sponge with fibronectin coating showed that cells distributed homogeneously within the sponge while cells formed clusters in the sponge without coating. MTT assay showed that the sponge had no apparent cytotoxicity and that HeLa cells proliferated continuously within the DexAc sponge over a time period of several days. This biocompatible dextran-based sponge may show potential in the field of tissue engineering as an artificial extracellular matrix.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biomedical Engineering