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Open AccessArticle

Sterile and Dual-Porous Aerogels Scaffolds Obtained through a Multistep Supercritical CO2-Based Approach

1
Departamento de Farmacología, Farmacia y Tecnología Farmacéutica, R+D Pharma group (GI-1645), Facultad de Farmacia and Health Research Institute of Santiago de Compostela (IDIS), Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, E-15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
2
BioFarma Research group, Centro Singular de Investigación en Medicina Molecular y Enfermedades Crónicas (CiMUS), Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, E-15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
3
CBQF-Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina-Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, 4200-375 Porto, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2019, 24(5), 871; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24050871
Received: 10 January 2019 / Revised: 11 February 2019 / Accepted: 27 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engineering of Aerogels and Their Applications)
Aerogels from natural polymers are endowed with attractive textural and biological properties for biomedical applications due to their high open mesoporosity, low density, and reduced toxicity. Nevertheless, the lack of macroporosity in the aerogel structure and of a sterilization method suitable for these materials restrict their use for regenerative medicine purposes and prompt the research on getting ready-to-implant dual (macro + meso)porous aerogels. In this work, zein, a family of proteins present in materials for tissue engineering, was evaluated as a sacrificial porogen to obtain macroporous starch aerogels. This approach was particularly advantageous since it could be integrated in the conventional aerogel processing method without extra leaching steps. Physicochemical, morphological, and mechanical characterization were performed to study the effect of porogen zein at various proportions (0:1, 1:2, and 1:1 zein:starch weight ratio) on the properties of the obtained starch-based aerogels. From a forward-looking perspective for its clinical application, a supercritical CO2 sterilization treatment was implemented for these aerogels. The sterilization efficacy and the influence of the treatment on the aerogel final properties were evaluated mainly in terms of absence of microbial growth, cytocompatibility, as well as physicochemical, structural, and mechanical modifications. View Full-Text
Keywords: starch aerogels; zein; supercritical sterilization; supercritical CO2; regenerative medicine starch aerogels; zein; supercritical sterilization; supercritical CO2; regenerative medicine
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MDPI and ACS Style

Santos-Rosales, V.; Ardao, I.; Alvarez-Lorenzo, C.; Ribeiro, N.; Oliveira, A.L.; García-González, C.A. Sterile and Dual-Porous Aerogels Scaffolds Obtained through a Multistep Supercritical CO2-Based Approach. Molecules 2019, 24, 871.

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