Poly-ε-caprolactone/hydroxyapatite composites for bone regeneration: In vitro characterization and human osteoblast response

F. Causa, P. A. Netti, L. Ambrosio, G. Ciapetti, N. Baldini, S. Pagani, D. Martini, A. Giunti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polycaprolactone (PCL), a semicrystalline linear resorbable aliphatic polyester, is a good candidate as a scaffold for bone tissue engineering, due to its biocompatibility and biodegradability. However, the poor mechanical properties of PCL impair its use as scaffold for hard tissue regeneration, unless mechanical reinforcement is provided. To enhance mechanical properties and promote osteoconductivity, hydroxyapatite (HA) particles were added to the PCL matrix: three PCL-based composites with different volume ratio of HA (13%, 20%, and 32%) were studied. Mechanical properties and structure were analysed, along with biocompatibility and osteoconductivity. The addition of HA particles (in particular in the range of 20% and 32%) led to a significant improvement in mechanical performance (e.g., elastic modulus) of scaffold. Saos-2 cells and osteoblasts from human trabecular bone (hOB) retrieved during total hip replacement surgery were seeded onto 3D PCL samples for 1-4 weeks. Following the assessment of cell viability, proliferation, morphology, and ALP release, HA-loaded PCL was found to improve osteoconduction compared to the PCL alone. The results indicated that PCL represents a potential candidate as an efficient substrate for bone substitution through an accurate balance between structural/ mechanical properties of polymer and biological activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-162
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006


  • Bone regeneration
  • Human osteoblasts
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Polycaprolactone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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