An Investigation of the Behavior of Solvent based Polycaprolactone ink for Material Jetting.
ABSTRACT: An initial study of processing bioresorbable polycaprolactone (PCL) through material jetting was conducted using a Fujifilm Dimatix DMP-2830 material printer. The aim of this work was to investigate a potential solvent based method of jetting polycaprolactone. Several solvents were used to prepare a PCL solvent based ink and 1, 4-dioxane was chosen with the consideration of both solubility and safety. The morphology of PCL formed under different substrate temperatures, droplet spacings were investigated. Multi-layer PCL structures were printed and characterized. This work shows that biodegradable polycaprolactone can be processed through material jetting.
Project description:Nanofibrous membranes based on polycaprolactone (PCL) have a large potential for use in biomedical applications but are limited by the hydrophobicity of PCL. Blend electrospinning of PCL with other biomedical suited materials, such as gelatin (Gt) allows for the design of better and new materials. This study investigates the possibility of blend electrospinning PCL/Gt nanofibrous membranes which can be used to design a range of novel materials better suited for biomedical applications. The electrospinnability and stability of PCL/Gt blend nanofibers from a non-toxic acid solvent system are investigated. The solvent system developed in this work allows good electrospinnable emulsions for the whole PCL/Gt composition range. Uniform bead-free nanofibers can easily be produced, and the resulting fiber diameter can be tuned by altering the total polymer concentration. Addition of small amounts of water stabilizes the electrospinning emulsions, allowing the electrospinning of large and homogeneous nanofibrous structures over a prolonged period. The resulting blend nanofibrous membranes are analyzed for their composition, morphology, and homogeneity. Cold-gelling experiments on these novel membranes show the possibility of obtaining water-stable PCL/Gt nanofibrous membranes, as well as nanostructured hydrogels reinforced with nanofibers. Both material classes provide a high potential for designing new material applications.
Project description:Poly(furfuryl alcohol) (PFA) is a bioresin synthesized from furfuryl alcohol (FA) that is derived from renewable saccharide-rich biomass. In this study, we compounded this bioresin with polycaprolactone (PCL) for the first time, introducing new functional polymer blends. Although PCL is biodegradable, its production relies on petroleum precursors such as cyclohexanone oils. With the method proposed herein, this dependence on petroleum-derived precursors/monomers is reduced by using PFA without significantly modifying some important properties of the PCL. Polymer blend films were produced by simple solvent casting. The blends were characterized in terms of surface topography by atomic force microscopy (AFM), chemical interactions between PCL and PFA by attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR), crystallinity by XRD, thermal properties by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and mechanical properties by tensile tests and biocompatibility by direct and indirect toxicity tests. PFA was found to improve the gas barrier properties of PCL without compromising its mechanical properties, and it demonstrated sustained antioxidant effect with excellent biocompatibility. Our results indicate that these new blends can be potentially used in diverse applications ranging from food packing to biomedical devices.
Project description:Combining electrochemistry with microfluidics is attractive for a wide array of applications including multiplexing, automation, and high-throughput screening. Electrochemical instrumentation also has the advantage of being low-cost and can enable high analyte sensitivity. For many electrochemical microfluidic applications, carbon electrodes are more desirable than noble metals because they are resistant to fouling, have high activity, and large electrochemical solvent windows. At present, fabrication of electrochemical microfluidic devices bearing integrated carbon electrodes remains a challenge. Here, a new system for integrating polycaprolactone (PCL) and carbon composite electrodes into microfluidics is presented. The PCL?:?carbon composites have excellent electrochemical activity towards a wide range of analytes as well as high electrical conductivity (?1000 S m-1). The new system utilizes a laser cutter for fast, simple fabrication of microfluidics using PCL as a bonding layer. As a proof-of-concept application, oil-in-water and water-in-oil droplets are electrochemically analysed. Small-scale electrochemical organic synthesis for TEMPO mediated alcohol oxidation is also demonstrated.
Project description:Electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofibers have emerged as a promising material in diverse biomedical applications due to their various favorable features. However, their application in the field of biosensors such as point-of-care lateral flow assays (LFA) has not been investigated. The present study demonstrates the use of electrospun PCL nanofibers as a reaction membrane for LFA. Electrospun PCL nanofibers were treated with NaOH solution for different concentrations and durations to achieve a desirable flow rate and optimum detection sensitivity in nucleic acid-based LFA. It was observed that the concentration of NaOH does not affect the physical properties of nanofibers, including average fiber diameter, average pore size and porosity. However, interestingly, a significant reduction of the water contact angle was observed due to the generation of hydroxyl and carboxyl groups on the nanofibers, which increased their hydrophilicity. The optimally treated nanofibers were able to detect synthetic Zika viral DNA (as a model analyte) sensitively with a detection limit of 0.5 nM. Collectively, the benefits such as low-cost of fabrication, ease of modification, porous nanofibrous structures and tunability of flow rate make PCL nanofibers a versatile alternative to nitrocellulose membrane in LFA applications. This material offers tremendous potential for a broad range of point-of-care applications.
Project description:There is increasing demand for reconstruction of glottal insufficiency. Several injection materials have been examined for this purpose, but all had limitations, such as poor long-term durability, migration from the injection site, inflammation, granuloma formation, and interference with vocal fold vibration due to viscoelastic mismatch. Here, we developed a novel injection material, consisting of polycaprolactone (PCL) microspheres, which exhibits better viscoelasticity than conventional materials, and Pluronic F127 carrier, which decreases the migration of the injection materials. The material was injected into rabbits with glottal insufficiency and compared with the FDA-approved injection material, calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA). Endoscopic and histological examinations indicated that PCL/Pluronic F127 remained at the injection site with no inflammatory response or granuloma formation, whereas CaHA leaked out and migrated from the injection site. Therefore, vocal fold augmentation was almost completely retained during the 12-month follow-up period in this study. Moreover, induced phonation and high-speed recording of vocal fold vibration showed decreased vocal fold gap area in the PCL/Pluronic F127 group. Our newly developed injection material, PCL/Pluronic F127, permits efficient augmentation of paralyzed vocal fold without complications, a concept that can be applied clinically, as demonstrated by the successful long-term follow-up.
Project description:In orthopaedic medicine, connective tissues are often affected by traumatic or degenerative injuries, and surgical intervention is required. Rotator cuff tears are a common cause of shoulder pain and disability among adults. The development of graft materials for bridging the gap between tendon and bone after chronic rotator cuff tears is essentially required. The limiting factor for the clinical success of a tissue engineering construct is a fast and complete vascularization of the construct. Otherwise, immigrating cells are not able to survive for a longer period of time, resulting in the failure of the graft material. The femur chamber allows the observation of microhaemodynamic parameters inside implants located in close vicinity to the femur in repeated measurements in vivo. We compared a porous polymer patch (a commercially available porous polyurethane-based scaffold from Biomerix™) with electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) fibre mats and chitosan (CS)-graft-PCL modified electrospun PCL (CS-g-PCL) fibre mats in vivo. By means of intravital fluorescence microscopy, microhaemodynamic parameters were analysed repetitively over 20 days at intervals of 3 to 4 days. CS-g-PCL modified fibre mats showed a significantly increased vascularization at Day 10 compared with Day 6 and at Day 14 compared with the porous polymer patch and the unmodified PCL fibre mats at the same day. These results could be verified by histology. In conclusion, a clear improvement in terms of vascularization and biocompatibility is achieved by graft-copolymer modification compared with the unmodified material.
Project description:The purpose of this study was to achieve a sustained release of hydrophilic l-ascorbic acid 2-phosphate magnesium (ASP) from electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds, so as to promote the osteogenic differentiation of stem cells for bone tissue engineering (TE). ASP was loaded and electrospun together with PCL via three electrospinning techniques, i.e., coaxial, emulsion, and blend electrospinning. For blend electrospinning, binary solvent systems of dichloromethane-methanol (DCM-MeOH) and dichloromethane-dimethylformamide (DCM-DMF) were used to achieve the desired ASP release through the effect of solvent polarity and volatility. The scaffold prepared via a blend electrospinning technique with a binary solvent system of DCM-MeOH at a 7:3 ratio demonstrated a desirable, sustained ASP release profile for as long as two weeks, with minimal burst release. However, an undesirable burst release (~100%) was observed within the first 24 h for scaffolds prepared by coaxial electrospinning. Scaffolds prepared by emulsion electrospinning displayed poorer mechanical properties. Sustained releasing blend electrospun scaffold could be a good potential candidate as an ASP-eluting scaffold for bone tissue engineering.
Project description:The pristine lignin molecules contain multiple reactive hydroxyl [OH] groups, some of which undergo limited polymerization depending on their configuration (aromatic or aliphatic) or conformation. The key issue in lignin-polymerization is to quantify the number of hydroxyl groups in the pristine molecules for subsequent activation to specific lignin-polymer chain lengths or degree of grafting. In this study, using ?-caprolactone (CL) as a reactive solvent, we successfully polymerized CL on the [OH] sites in the kraft lignin macromonomers (LM, Mw?=?1,520?g?mol-1), which resulted in a thermoplastic lignin-polycaprolactone (PCL) grafted copolymer. We found that the average number of [OH] groups in the LM was 15.3 groups mol-1, and further detected 40-71% of the [OH] groups in the CL bulk polymerization. The degree of polymerization of PCL grown on each [OH] site ranged between 7 and 26 depending on the reaction conditions ([CL]/[OH] and reaction-time) corresponding to 4,780 and 32,600?g?mol-1 of PCL chains per a LM. The thermoplastic characteristics of the synthesized lignin-PCL copolymers were established by the melt viscosity exhibiting a shear-thinning behavior, e.g., 921?Pa.s at 180?°C. The thermal stability was remarkable providing a Tid (2% of weight loss) of 230?°C of the copolymers, compared with 69?°C for the pristine lignin.
Project description:Modulation of initial burst and long term release from electrospun fibrous mats can be achieved by sandwiching the drug loaded mats between hydrophobic layers of fibrous polycaprolactone (PCL). Ibuprofen (IBU) loaded PCL fibrous mats (12% PCL-IBU) were sandwiched between fibrous polycaprolactone layers during the process of electrospinning, by varying the polymer concentrations (10% (w/v), 12% (w/v)) and volume of coat (1 ml, 2 ml) in flanking layers. Consequently, 12% PCL-IBU (without sandwich layer) showed burst release of 66.43% on day 1 and cumulative release (%) of 86.08% at the end of 62 days. Whereas, sandwich groups, especially 12% PCLSW-1 & 2 (sandwich layers-1 ml and 2 ml of 12% PCL) showed controlled initial burst and cumulative (%) release compared to 12% PCL-IBU. Moreover, crystallinity (%) and hydrophobicity of the sandwich models imparted control on ibuprofen release from fibrous mats. Further, assay for cytotoxicity and scanning electron microscopic images of cell seeded mats after 5 days showed the mats were not cytotoxic. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopic analysis revealed weak interaction between ibuprofen and PCL in nanofibers which favors the release of ibuprofen. These data imply that concentration and volume of coat in flanking layer imparts tighter control on initial burst and long term release of ibuprofen.
Project description:The goal of this work was to design nerve guidance scaffolds with a unique architecture to maximize the open volume available for nerve growth. Polycaprolactone (PCL) was selected as the scaffold material based on its biocompatibility and month-long degradation. Yet, dense PCL does not exhibit suitable properties such as porosity, stiffness, strength, and cell adhesion to function as an effective nerve guidance scaffold. To address these shortcomings, PCL was processed using a modified salt-leaching technique to create uniquely controlled interconnected porosity. By controlling porosity, we demonstrated that the elastic modulus could be controlled between 2.09 and 182.1?MPa. In addition, introducing porosity and/or coating with fibronectin enhanced the PCL cell attachment properties. To produce PCL scaffolds with maximized open volume, porous PCL microtubes were fabricated and translated into scaffolds with 60 volume percent open volume. The scaffolds were tested in transected rat spinal cords. Linear axon growth within both the microtubes as well as the interstitial space between the tubes was observed, demonstrating that the entire open volume of the scaffold was available for nerve growth. Overall, a novel scaffold architecture and fabrication technique are presented. The scaffolds exhibit significantly higher volume than state-of-the-art scaffolds for promising spinal cord nerve repair.