Controlled degradability of PCL-ZnO nanofibrous scaffolds for bone tissue engineering and their antibacterial activity

Betiana Felice, María Alejandra Sánchez, María Cecilia Socci, Luciano David Sappia, María Inés Gómez, María Karina Cruz, Carmelo José Felice, Mercè Martí, María Isabel Pividori, Gabriela Simonelli, Andrea Paola Rodríguez

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63 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Up to date, tissue regeneration of large bone defects is a clinical challenge under exhaustive study. Nowadays, the most common clinical solutions concerning bone regeneration involve systems based on human or bovine tissues, which suffer from drawbacks like antigenicity, complex processing, low osteoinductivity, rapid resorption and minimal acceleration of tissue regeneration. This work thus addresses the development of nanofibrous synthetic scaffolds of polycaprolactone (PCL) - a long-term degradation polyester - compounded with hydroxyapatite (HA) and variable concentrations of ZnO as alternative solutions for accelerated bone tissue regeneration in applications requiring mid- and long-term resorption. In vitro cell response of human fetal osteoblasts as well as antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus of PCL:HA:ZnO and PCL:ZnO scaffolds were here evaluated. Furthermore, the effect of ZnO nanostructures at different concentrations on in vitro degradation of PCL electrospun scaffolds was analyzed. The results proved that higher concentrations ZnO may induce early mineralization, as indicated by high alkaline phosphatase activity levels, cell proliferation assays and positive Alizarin-Red-S-stained calcium deposits. Moreover, all PCL:ZnO scaffolds particularly showed antibacterial activity against S. aureus which may be attributed to release of Zn2+ ions. Additionally, results here obtained showed a variable PCL degradation rate as a function of ZnO concentration. Therefore, this work suggests that our PCL:ZnO scaffolds may be promising and competitive short-, mid- and long-term resorption systems against current clinical solutions for bone tissue regeneration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-738
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Antibacterial
  • Bone tissue engineering
  • Degradation rate
  • Mineralization
  • Polycaprolactone
  • ZnO


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