Monitoring and understanding the in vitro behaviour of polyester based scaffolds both comprising the study of the hydrolytic degradation and the cell seeding viability is essential to ensure the desired functionality, according to a given biomedical purpose. As a model case to compare the performance of techniques to monitor the in vitro behaviour, poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) scaffolds were chosen. The in vitro hydrolytic degradation of PLGA scaffolds was carried out in water and phosphate buffered saline (PBS). The evolution of the mass loss, the molar mass, the thermal properties and the surface morphology were monitored. The hydrolytic degradation media was correspondingly evaluated by means of the study of the pH, the amount of acid released and the conductivity. In addition, the in vitro biocompatibility regarding the cell culture viability was studied under physiological conditions. The cellular adhesion, cellular ability to proliferate on the scaffold, the scaffold inflammatory profile and the effect of the scaffold degradation compounds on the cells were assessed. A comparative analysis of the exploited techniques in terms of promptness of identification, depth of knowledge, simplicity of obtaining results and cost of the technique was implemented. The results showed that, depending on the balance between the interest in ascertaining the trigger of degradation or deep into the knowledge of the causes and effects of cell culture viability, an appropriate plan of analysis of the validation of polyester-based scaffolds could be designed.
Gil-Castell, O., Badia, J. D., Ontoria-Oviedo, I., Castellano, D., Marco, B., Rabal, A., … Ribes-Greus, A. (2018). In vitro validation of biomedical polyester-based scaffolds: Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) as model-case. Polymer Testing, 66, 256–267. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymertesting.2018.01.027