Tissue regeneration necessitates the development of appropriate scaffolds that facilitate cell growth and tissue development by providing a suitable substrate for cell attachment, proliferation, and differentiation. The optimized scaffolds should be biocompatible, biodegradable, and exhibit proper mechanical behavior. In the present study, the nanomechanical behavior of a chitosan-graft-poly(ε-caprolactone) copolymer, in hydrated and dry state, was investigated and compared to those of the individual homopolymers, chitosan (CS) and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL). Hardness and elastic modulus values were calculated, and the time-dependent behavior of the samples was studied. Submersion of PCL and the graft copolymer in a-MEM suggested the deterioration of the measured mechanical properties as a result of the samples' degradation. However, even after three days of degradation, the graft copolymer presented sufficient mechanical strength and elastic properties, which resemble those reported for soft tissues. The in vitro biological evaluation of the material clearly demonstrated that the CS-g-PCL copolymer supports the growth of Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells and tissue formation with a simultaneous material degradation. Both the mechanical and biological data render the CS-g-PCL copolymer appropriate as a scaffold in a cell-laden construct for soft tissue engineering.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)