Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Microcellular polyHIPE polymer supports osteoblast growth and bone formation in vitro

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Galip Akay, Dr Mark Birch, Dr Maria Bokhari


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


A novel micro-cellular polymer with a well-defined and uniform micro-architecture has been developed as a three-dimensional support matrix for in vitro tissue engineering applications. This material is manufactured through a high internal phase emulsion (HIPE) polymerization route and may be modified with hydroxyapatite. The generic form of the support is known as PolyHIPE Polymer (PHP). By changing the chemical composition of the emulsion and the processing conditions, the pore size can be altered from sub-micron range to a few hundred microns and the porosity varied from 70% to 97%. Our work has investigated the use of this micro-porous polymer as a biomaterial to support the growth of osteoblasts, the bone forming cells in vitro. Three groups of polymers were used that had pore sizes of 40, 60 and 100μm. Results demonstrated in vitro cell-polymer compatibility, with osteoblasts forming multicellular layers on the polymer surface and also migrating to a maximum depth of 1.4mm inside the scaffold after 35 days in culture. PHP was also able to support the differentiation of osteoblasts and the production of a bone-like matrix. The effect of modifying the polymer with hydroxyapatite was also studied and showed that there was a significant increase in osteoblast numbers penetrating into the polymer. There were few differences, between the pore sizes studied, on the overall penetration of osteoblasts into the polymer but the rate of movement into 100μm PHP was significantly higher compared to the other sizes investigated. This study shows that osteoblasts seeded onto PHP demonstrate cellular attachment, proliferation and ingrowth leading to the support of an osteoblastic phenotype. Therefore this highly porous scaffold has a potential for bone tissue engineering. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Akay G, Birch MA, Bokhari MA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biomaterials

Year: 2004

Volume: 25

Issue: 18

Pages: 3991-4000

ISSN (print): 0142-9612

ISSN (electronic): 1878-5905

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2003.10.086

PubMed id: 15046889


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric