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Co-Extrusion of Biocompatible Polymers for Scaffolds With Co-Continuous Morphology



N. R. Washburn, Carl Simon Jr., Alessandro Tona, H M. Elgendy, Alamgir Karim, Eric J. Amis


A methodology for the preparation of porous scaffolds for tissue engineering using co-extrusion is presented. Poly(espilon-caprolactone) is blended with poly(ethylene oxide) in a twin-screw extruder to form a two-phase material with micron-sized domains. Selective dissolution of the poly(ethylene oxide) with water results in a porous material. A range of blend volume fractions results in co-continuous networks of polymer and void spaces. Annealing studies demonstrate that the characteristic pore size may be increased to larger than 100 microns. The mechanical properties of the scaffolds are characterized by a compressive modulus on the order of 1 MPa at low strains and approximately 10 MPa at higher strains. The results of osteoblast seeding suggest that it is possible to use co-extrusion to prepare polymer scaffolds without the introduction of toxic contaminants. This method of polymer extrusion permits the preparation of scaffolds having continuous void space and controlled characteristic length scales without the use of potentially toxic organic solvents.
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research
No. 1


biocompatible polymers, polymer processing, tissue engineering


Washburn, N. , Simon Jr., C. , Tona, A. , Elgendy, H. , Karim, A. and Amis, E. (2002), Co-Extrusion of Biocompatible Polymers for Scaffolds With Co-Continuous Morphology, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, [online], (Accessed June 24, 2024)


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Created March 31, 2002, Updated October 12, 2021