Developing a biodegradable scaffold remains a major challenge in bone tissue engineering. This study was aimed at developing novel alginate-chitosan-collagen (SA-CS-Col)-based composite scaffolds consisting of graphene oxide (GO) to enrich porous structures, elicited by the freeze-drying technique. To characterize porosity, water absorption, and compressive modulus, GO scaffolds (SA-CS-Col-GO) were prepared with and without Ca2+-mediated crosslinking (chemical crosslinking) and analyzed using Raman, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy techniques. The incorporation of GO into the SA-CS-Col matrix increased both crosslinking density as indicated by the reduction of crystalline peaks in the XRD patterns and polyelectrolyte ion complex as confirmed by FTIR. GO scaffolds showed increased mechanical properties which were further increased for chemically crosslinked scaffolds. All scaffolds exhibited interconnected pores of 10-250 μm range. By increasing the crosslinking density with Ca2+, a decrease in the porosity/swelling ratio was observed. Moreover, the SA-CS-Col-GO scaffold with or without chemical crosslinking was more stable as compared to SA-CS or SA-CS-Col scaffolds when placed in aqueous solution. To perform in vitro biochemical studies, mouse osteoblast cells were grown on various scaffolds and evaluated for cell proliferation by using MTT assay and mineralization and differentiation by alizarin red S staining. These measurements showed a significant increase for cells attached to the SA-CS-Col-GO scaffold compared to SA-CS or SA-CS-Col composites. However, chemical crosslinking of SA-CS-Col-GO showed no effect on the osteogenic ability of osteoblasts. These studies indicate the potential use of GO to prepare free SA-CS-Col scaffolds with preserved porous structure with elongated Col fibrils and that these composites, which are biocompatible and stable in a biological medium, could be used for application in engineering bone tissues.
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© 2018 American Chemical Society.
- bone tissue engineering
- graphene oxide