Solvent/non-solvent sintering: A novel route to create porous microsphere scaffolds for tissue regeneration

Justin L. Brown, Lakshmi S. Nair, Cato T. Laurencin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Solvent/non-solvent sintering creates porous polymeric microsphere scaffolds suitable for tissue engineering purposes with control over the resulting porosity, average pore diameter, and mechanical properties. Five different biodegradable biocompatible polyphosphazenes exhibiting glass transition temperatures from -8 to 41°C and poly (lactide-co-glycolide), (PLAGA) a degradable polymer used in a number of biomedical settings, were examined to study the versatility of the process and benchmark the process to heat sintering. Parameters such as: solvent/non-solvent sintering solution composition and submersion time effect the sintering process. PLAGA microsphere scaffolds fabricated with solvent/non-solvent sintering exhibited an interconnected porosity and pore size of 31.9% and 179.1 μm, respectively which was analogous to that of conventional heat sintered PLAGA microsphere scaffolds. Biodegradable polyphosphazene microsphere scaffolds exhibited a maximum interconnected porosity of 37.6% and a maximum compressive modulus of 94.3 MPa. Solvent/non-solvent sintering is an effective strategy for sintering polymeric microspheres, with a broad spectrum of glass transition temperatures, under ambient conditions making it an excellent fabrication route for developing tissue engineering scaffolds and drug delivery vehicles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-406
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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