A highly porous 3-dimensional polyphosphazene polymer matrix for skeletal tissue regeneration

Cato T. Laurencin, Saadiq F. El-Amin, Sobrasua E. Ibim, Darryl A. Willoughby, Mohamed Attawia, Harry R. Allcock, Archel A. Ambrosio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations


Current methods for the replacement of skeletal tissue in general involve the use of autografts or allografts. There are considerable drawbacks in the use of either of these tissues. In an effort to provide an alternative to traditional graft materials, a degradable 3-dimensional (3-D) osteoblast cell-polymer matrix was designed as a construct for skeletal tissue regeneration. A degradable amino acid containing polymer, poly[(methylphenoxy)(ethyl glycinato) phosphazene], was synthesized and a 3- D matrix system was prepared using a salt leaching technique. This 3-D polyphosphazene polymer matrix system, 3-D-PHOS, was then seeded with osteoblast cells for the creation of a cell-polymer matrix material. The 3- D-PHOS matrix possessed an average pore diameter of 165 μm. Environmental scanning electron microscopy revealed a reconnecting porous network throughout the polymer with an even distribution of pores over the surface of the matrix. Osteoblast cells were found attached and grew on the 3-D-PHOS at a steady rate throughout the 21-day period studied in vitro, in contrast to osteoblast growth kinetics on similar, but 2-D polyphosphazene matrices, that showed a decline in cell growth after 7 days. Characterization of 3-D-PHOS osteoblast polymer matrices by light microscopy revealed cells growing within the pores as well as on surface of the polymer as early as day 1. This novel porous 3-D-PHOS matrix may be suitable for use as a bioerodible scaffold for regeneration of skeletal tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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