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Polymers 2016, 8(6), 213; doi:10.3390/polym8060213

Engineering Porous Poly(lactic acid) Scaffolds with High Mechanical Performance via a Solid State Extrusion/Porogen Leaching Approach

College of Polymer Science and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Polymer Materials Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jianxun Ding
Received: 3 March 2016 / Revised: 18 May 2016 / Accepted: 26 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymers for Medical Applications)
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A knotty issue concerning the poor mechanical properties exists in the porogen leaching approach to porous scaffolds, despite its advantage in tuning pore structure. To address this hurdle, solid state extrusion (SSE) combined with porogen leaching was utilized to engineer porous scaffolds of poly(lactic acid) (PLA). Advances introduced by poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) caused the PLA ductile to be processed and, on the other hand, enabled the formation of interconnected pores. Thus, a well-interconnected porous architecture with high connectivity exceeding 97% and elevated porosity over 60% was obtained in the as-prepared PLA scaffolds with the composition of NaCl higher than 75.00 wt % and PEG beyond 1.25 wt %. More strikingly, the pore walls of macropores encompassed countless micropores and rough surface topography, in favor of transporting nutrients and metabolites as well as cell attachment. The prominent compressive modulus of the PLA scaffolds was in the range of 85.7–207.4 MPa, matching the normal modulus of human trabecular bone (50–250 MPa). By means of alkaline modification to improve hydrophilicity, biocompatible porous PLA scaffolds exhibited good cell attachment. These results suggest that the SSE/porogen leaching approach provides an eligible clue for fabricating porous scaffolds with high mechanical performance for use as artificial extracellular matrices. View Full-Text
Keywords: solid state extrusion; poly(lactic acid); scaffolds; mechanical reinforcement; porosity solid state extrusion; poly(lactic acid); scaffolds; mechanical reinforcement; porosity

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Yin, H.-M.; Qian, J.; Zhang, J.; Lin, Z.-F.; Li, J.-S.; Xu, J.-Z.; Li, Z.-M. Engineering Porous Poly(lactic acid) Scaffolds with High Mechanical Performance via a Solid State Extrusion/Porogen Leaching Approach. Polymers 2016, 8, 213.

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