Novel polymeric scaffolds using protein microbubbles as porogen and growth factor carriers

Ashwin Nair, Paul Thevenot, Jagannath Dey, Jinhui Shen, Man Wu Sun, Jian Yang, Liping Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Polymeric tissue engineering scaffolds prepared by conventional techniques like salt leaching and phase separation are greatly limited by their poor biomolecule-delivery abilities. Conventional methods of incorporation of various growth factors, proteins, and/or peptides on or in scaffold materials via different crosslinking and conjugation techniques are often tedious and may affect scaffold's physical, chemical, and mechanical properties. To overcome such deficiencies, a novel two-step porous scaffold fabrication procedure has been created in which bovine serum albumin microbubbles (henceforth MB) were used as porogen and growth factor carriers. Polymer solution mixed with MB was phase separated and then lyophilized to create porous scaffold. MB scaffold triggered substantially lesser inflammatory responses than salt-leached and conventional phase-separated scaffolds in vivo. Most importantly, the same technique was used to produce insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)-eluting porous scaffolds, simply by incorporating IGF-1-loaded MB (MB-IGF-1) with polymer solution before phase separation. In vitro such MB-IGF-1 scaffolds were able to promote cell growth to a much greater extent than scaffold soaked in IGF-1, confirming the bioactivity of the released IGF-1. Further, such MB-IGF-1 scaffolds elicited IGF-1-specific collagen production in the surrounding tissue in vivo. This novel growth factor-eluting scaffold fabrication procedure can be used to deliver a range of single or combination of bioactive biomolecules to substantially promote cell growth and function in degradable scaffold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-32
Number of pages10
JournalTissue Engineering - Part C: Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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