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Jiangyu Caia, Qianqian Zhangb, Jiebo Chen, Jia Jiang, Xiumei Mob , Chuanglong Heb,
It is a big challenge to develop a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) artificial ligament with excellent osteogenetic activity to enhance graft-bone integration for ligament reconstruction. Herein, we evaluated the effect of biomineralization (BM) and electrodeposition (ED) method for depositing calcium-phosphate (CaP) on the PET artificial ligament in vitro and in vivo. Scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-Ray spectrometer mapping analysis revealed that the ED-CaP had more uniform particles and element distribution (Ca, P and O), and thermogravimetric analysis showed there were more CaP on the PET/ED-CaP than the PET/BM-CaP scaffold. Moreover, the hydrophilicity of PET scaffolds was significantly improved after CaP deposition. In vitro study showed that CaP coating via BM or ED method could improve the attachment and proliferation of MC3T3-E1 cells, and ED-CaP coating significantly increased osteogenic differentiation of the cells, in which the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway might be involved. In addition, radiological, histological and immunohistochemical results of in vivo study in a rabbit anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction model demonstrated that the PET/BM-CaP and PET/ED-CaP scaffolds significantly improved graft-bone integration process compared to the PET scaffold. More importantly, larger areas of new bone ingrowth and the formation of fibrocartilage tissue were observed at 12 weeks in the PET/ED-CaP group, and the biomechanical tests showed increased ultimate failure load and stiffness in PET/ED-CaP group compared to PET/BM-CaP and PET group. Therefore, ED of CaP is an effective strategy for the modification of PET artificial ligament and can enhance graft-bone integration both in vitro and in vivo.