Nanoclay Reinforced Starch-Polycaprolactone Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering

Document Type: Original Article


Department of Life Science Engineering, Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



Introduction: Bone tissue engineering is one of the important areas in the field of tissue engineering. Scaffolds should have adequate mechanical properties for proper tissue regeneration and for bearing the weight of the regenerating tissues. Many studies have been done for improving scaffolds mechanical properties.

Objective: this study aimed to make and characterize nonoclay reinforced starch-polycaprolactone scaffolds.
Material and Methods: Scaffolds based on starch/polycaprolactone blend containing montmorillonite nanoclays were prepared by solvent casting-salt leaching technique. The nanoclays were introduced to improve the mechanical properties of the scaffold.

Results: The characteristics of scaffolds were analysis by FTIR, SEM, contact angel, MTT assay and compressive strength tests. FTIR showed some hydrogen bonds between starch and polycaprolactone in scaffolds. In addition, the prepared samples exhibited porosity greater than 70%. The compressive mechanical test showed the range of 3.3 to 5.8 MPa for the compressive elastic modulus of the scaffolds. The contact angle experiments exhibited that incorporation of nanoclays improved the hydrophilicity of SPCL from 136 to 122 degree. 

Conclusion: FTIR showed that the nanoclays was successfully incorporated into the starch/polycaprolactone blend based scaffolds. Nanoclays influenced the microstructure of starch/polycaprolactone scaffolds. The MTT assay also indicated that the nanoclays did not a negative effect on the viability of osteoblast cells in scaffolds. The porosity of the scaffolds is appropriate for tissue engineering applications. Therefore, the starch/polycaprolactone -nanoclay scaffolds appear to satisfy some of the essential requirements of scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications.

Graphical Abstract

Nanoclay Reinforced Starch-Polycaprolactone Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering


[1]              U.S. Scientific Registry for Organ Transplantation and the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network. Annual Report. Richmond VA: UNOS, 1990.

[2]              Vacanti J. and Vacanti  C. The challenge of tissue engineering. In: Lanza. R.P. Langer, R. and Chick, W.L. Principles of Tissue Engineering. Austin, TX: Academic Press. 1997. pp. 1–6.

[3]              Cohen S, Baño MC, Cima LG. Design of synthetic polymeric structures for cell transplantation and tissue engineering. Clinical materials. 1993;13(1):3-10.

[4]              Langer R. and Vacanti J. P. Tissue Engineering. Science. 1993.pp. 920–6.

[5]              Stevens MM. Biomaterials for bone tissue engineering. Materials today. 2008;11(5):18-25.

[6]              Aidun A., Firoozabady AS, Teimoori M, niaki A and Naseh E. Tissue Engineering in Lower Urinary Tract Reconstruction, Journal of Tissues and Materials. 2018; 1 (1), 18-27.

[7]              Hosseini FS, Soleimanifar F, Aidun A, Enderami SE, Saburi E, Zare Marzouni H, Khani MM, Khojasteh A and Ardeshirylajimi A. Poly (3‐hydroxybutyrate‐co‐3‐hydroxyvalerate) improved osteogenic differentiation of the human induced pluripotent stem cells while considered as an artificial extracellular matrix. Journal of Cellular Physiology. 2019;234 (7): 11537-11544.

[8]              Liu WF, Chen CS. Engineering biomaterials to control cell function. Materials Today. 2005;8(12):28-35.

[9]              Intranuovo F, Gristina R, Brun F. Plasma Modification of PCL Porous Scaffolds Fabricated by Solvent‐Casting/Particulate‐Leaching for Tissue Engineering. Plasma Processes and Polymers. 2014;11(2):184-95.

[10]           Murugan R, Ramakrishna S. Development of nanocomposites for bone grafting. Composites Science and Technology. 2005;65(15):2385-406.

[11]           Dorozhkin SV. Nanosized and nanocrystalline calcium orthophosphates. Acta biomaterialia. 2010;6(3):715-34.

[12]           Salgado AJ, Coutinho OP, Reis RL. Bone tissue engineering: state of the art and future trends. Macromolecular bioscience. 2004;4(8):743-65.

[13]           Hutmacher DW, Schantz JT, Lam CX. State of the art and future directions of scaffold‐based bone engineering from a biomaterials perspective. Journal of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. 2007;1(4):245-60.

[14]           Ambre AH, Katti KS, Katti DR. Nanoclay based composite scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications. Journal of Nanotechnology in Engineering and Medicine. 2010;1(3):031013.

[15]           Ray SS, Okamoto M. Polymer/layered silicate nanocomposites: a review from preparation to processing. Progress in polymer science. 2003;28(11):1539-641.

[16]           Sikdar D, Pradhan SM, Katti DR. Altered phase model for polymer clay nanocomposites. Langmuir. 2008;24(10):5599-607.

[17]           Ma PX. Scaffolds for tissue fabrication. Materials today. 2004;7(5):30-40.

[18]           Li D, Xia Y. Electrospinning of nanofibers: reinventing the wheel?. Advanced materials. 2004;16(14):1151-70.

[19]           Leong KF, Chua CK, Sudarmadji N. Engineering functionally graded tissue engineering scaffolds. Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials. 2008;1(2):140-52.

[20]           Mikos AG, Temenoff JS. Formation of highly porous biodegradable scaffolds for tissue engineering. Electronic Journal of Biotechnology. 2000;3(2):23-4.

[21]           Aidun A, Zamanian A, Ghorbani F. Novel bioactive porous starch–siloxane matrix for bone regeneration: Physicochemical, mechanical, and in vitro properties. Biotechnology and applied biochemistry. 2018 Sep 26.

[22]           Ghorbani F, Zamanian A, Aidun A. Bioinspired polydopamine coating‐assisted electrospun polyurethane‐graphene oxide nanofibers for bone tissue engineering application. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 2019:47656.

[23]           Avella M, Errico ME, Laurienzo P. Preparation and characterisation of compatibilised polycaprolactone/starch composites. Polymer. 2000;41(10):3875-81.

[24]           Liu H, Chaudhary D, Yusa SI. Glycerol/starch/Na+-montmorillonite nanocomposites: a XRD, FTIR, DSC and 1 H NMR study. Carbohydrate Polymers. 2011;83(4):1591-7.

[25]           Madejová J. FTIR techniques in clay mineral studies. Vibrational spectroscopy. 2003;31(1):1-10.

[26]           Vertuccio L, Gorrasi G, Sorrentino A. Nano clay reinforced PCL/starch blends obtained by high energy ball milling. Carbohydrate Polymers. 2009;75(1):172-9.

[27]           Francesco D, Giuliana G, Andrea S, Fabrication of polymer nanocomposites via ball milling: Present status and future perspectives. In Progress in Materials Science. 2017;86:75-126.

[28]           Ahmed J, Auras R, Kijchavengkul T, Varshney SK. Rheological, thermal and structural behavior of poly (ε-caprolactone) and nanoclay blended films. Journal of food engineering. 2012;111(4):580-9.

[29]           Park JH, Park SM, Kim YH. Effect of montmorillonite on wettability and microstructure properties of zein/montmorillonite nanocomposite nanofiber mats. Journal of Composite Materials. 2013;47(2):251-7.

[30]           Kumar S, Mishra A, Chatterjee K. Effect of organically modified clay on mechanical properties, cytotoxicity and bactericidal properties of poly (ϵ-caprolactone) nanocomposites. Materials Research Express. 2014;1(4):045302.

[31]           Tien YI, Wei KH. Hydrogen bonding and mechanical properties in segmented montmorillonite/polyurethane nanocomposites of different hard segment ratios. Polymer. 2001;42(7):3213-21.

[32]           Zheng JP, Wang CZ, Wang XX. Preparation of biomimetic three-dimensional gelatin/montmorillonite–chitosan scaffold for tissue engineering. Reactive and Functional Polymers. 2007;67(9):780-8.

[33]           Zhuang H, Zheng JP, Gao H. In vitro biodegradation and biocompatibility of gelatin/montmorillonite-chitosan intercalated nanocomposite. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine. 2007;18(5):951-7.

[34]           Haroun AA, Gamal-Eldeen A, Harding DR. Preparation, characterization and in vitro biological study of biomimetic three-dimensional gelatin–montmorillonite/cellulose scaffold for tissue engineering. Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine. 2009;20(12):2527-40.