Composite Nanofibrous Scaffolds for Supporting the Repair and Regeneration of Periodontal Soft Tissues in Diabetic Patients.

Robyn Macartney, G Burke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Dental implant placement is by enlarge a successful procedure in otherwise healthy patients. However, abnormally high failure rates are observed in diabetic cohorts, a group typically more in need of these interventions due to increased development of advanced periodontal diseases.
Therefore, here we look towards a tissue engineered solution for the repair and replacement of lost or damaged supporting structures of the teeth. Formation of polymer scaffolds for use in soft tissue engineering is readily observed in the field & may provide a viable treatment option for patients suffering loss of periodontal soft tissues due to disease, infection, or trauma.
The range of tissues involved in the periodontal anatomy render defining the ideal materials for tissue engineered solutions in this setting challenging. This study reports the fabrication and characterisation of a composite biomaterial to ameliorate the regenerative potential of periodontal ligament for diabetic patients.

Electrospinning was used to produce nanofibrous, composite scaffolds. A commercial nanohydroxyapatite was added, to a Poly(L-lactide co-Caprolactone) base, as the mineral phase of the composite to a final concentration of 10wt% (w/w).
Scaffolds were characterized using a comprehensive range of techniques. Briefly, SEM and associated analyses facilitated physical characterisation, EDX and vibrational spectroscopy methods demonstrate chemical characterisation, and a tensile testing method was used to assess the mechanical properties. Finally, a range of biological analyses were utilised to ensure the suitability of these scaffolds for the application presented here. Primarily, an acellular SBF study was used as an assessment of scaffold bioactivity. Cell culture experiments were then employed to analyse viability, morphology, confluency, and key gene expressions of a U2OS model cell line.

Physical characterisation using scanning electron microscopy and associated image analysis showed the addition of the nanohydroxyapatite did not significantly alter key physical properties such as fibre diameter, orientation, or porosity.
Chemical characterisation via Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy confirmed successful entrapment of the nanohydroxyapatite without changing the bulk polymers chemistry. Chemical mapping experiments demonstrate the distribution of nHAp throughout the composite scaffolds.
Tensile testing showed that mechanical properties of the composite scaffolds remained suitable for use in periodontal tissue engineering applications, demonstrating similar mechanical behaviour to native tissue.
Acellular in vitro studies confirmed that composite scaffolds showed increased bioactivity compared to native polymer scaffolds. In vitro cell studies demonstrated that the addition of nanohydroxyapatite invoked no cytotoxic response. Additionally, the cellular responses were enhanced at the material interface in the presence of the nanohydroxyapatite, with a significant increase of 17.8% in the viability/proliferation of osteoblast-like cells at day 7. Importantly, a number of key osteogenic marker genes were upregulated throughout a long-term culture experiment.
Modification of electrospun scaffolds successfully enhanced biological responses of osteoblast-like cells, mimicking the responses of neighbouring osseous tissue of the periodontal ligament for which the tissue engineered structure is intended to replace.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnited Kingdom Society for Biomaterials
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-9161528-2-3
Publication statusPublished online - 21 Jun 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Composite Nanofibrous Scaffolds for Supporting the Repair and Regeneration of Periodontal Soft Tissues in Diabetic Patients.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this