Electrospun hydroxyapatite-functionalized PLLA scaffold: Potential applications in sternal bone healing

Alberto Rainer, Cristiano Spadaccio, Pietro Sedati, Federico De Marco, Simone Carotti, Mario Lusini, Gianluca Vadalà, Alberto Di Martino, Sergio Morini, Massimo Chello, Elvio Covino, Vincenzo Denaro, Marcella Trombetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sternal synthesis after median sternotomy, a conventional access practice in thoracic and cardiac surgery, is at the basis of severe complications, often impairing the clinical outcome of surgical interventions. In this work, we propose the use of an acellular biomaterial scaffold, to be interposed across the fracture rime during closure operations, directly exposing the biomaterial to bone marrow, in order to expedite healing process. A rabbit model of median sternotomy was performed and an electrospun scaffold composed of a hydroxyapatite-loaded absorbable biopolymer (poly-l-lactide), shaped into a fibrillar structure, was used. CT follow-up confirmed a complete healing in the scaffold-treated group 1 week before the control. Histological evaluation demonstrated presence of newly formed bone trabeculae among scaffold fibers showing a higher degree of maturity with respect to the control untreated group. The proposed approach is able to both guide a more rapid healing and modulate inflammatory response across the wound site, resulting in improved healing and tissue remodeling with respect to conventional closure technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1882-1890
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Acellular scaffold
  • Bone healing
  • Electrospinning
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Median sternotomy
  • Poly(l-lactide)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Electrospun hydroxyapatite-functionalized PLLA scaffold: Potential applications in sternal bone healing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this