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Preparation and characterization of poly(epsilon-caprolactone) scaffolds modified with cell-loaded fibrin gel

Poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL) is one of the most commonly used polymers in the production of tissue engineered scaffolds for hard tissue treatments. Incorporation of cells into these scaffolds significantly enhances the healing rate of the tissue. In this study, PCL scaffolds were prepared by wet spinning technique and modified by addition of fibrinogen in order to form a fibrin network between the PCL fibers. By this way, scaffolds would have micro and nanofibers in their structures. Drying of the wet spun constructs was achieved by application of ethanol dehydration or freeze drying techniques. Fibrinogen solutions (as low: 2 mg/mL; or high: 10 mg/mL concentrations) were added onto the scaffolds and fibrin formation was achieved via fibrinogen crosslinking. Results showed that ethanol dehydration led to film-like coating on the fibers while freeze-drying led to nanofiber bridges between PCL fibers establishing an interconnected web in the structure. Mechanical properties of the scaffolds were improved in the presence of the fibrin net. After the seeding of Saos-2 cells, higher attachment and homogeneous distribution of the cells was achieved on the samples modified with high concentration of fibrinogen. These scaffolds can be good candidates for the treatment of problematic bone defects. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.