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Poly(lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) scaffold promotes equivalent tissue integration and supports skin grafts compared to a predicate collagen scaffold.

Dermal scarring from motor vehicle accidents, severe burns, military blasts, etc. is a major problem affecting over 80 million people worldwide annually, many of whom suffer from debilitating hypertrophic scar contractures. These stiff, shrunken scars limit mobility, impact quality of life, and cost millions of dollars each year in surgical treatment and physical therapy. Current tissue engineered scaffolds have mechanical properties akin to unwounded skin, but these collagen-based scaffolds rapidly degrade over 2 months, premature to dampen contracture occurring 6-12 months after injury. This study demonstrates a tissue engineered scaffold can be manufactured from a slow-degrading viscoelastic copolymer, poly(ι-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone), with physical and mechanical characteristics to promote tissue ingrowth and support skin-grafts. Copolymers were synthesized via ring-opening polymerization. Solvent casting/particulate leaching was used to manufacture 3D porous scaffolds by mixing copolymers with particles in an organic solvent followed by casting into molds and subsequent particle leaching with water. Scaffolds characterized through SEM, micro-CT, and tensile testing confirmed the required thickness, pore size, porosity, modulus, and strength for promoting skin-graft bioincorporation and dampening fibrosis in vivo. Scaffolds were Oxygen Plasma Treatment and collagen coated to encourage cellular proliferation. Porosity ranging from 70% to 90% was investigated in a subcutaneous murine model and found to have no clinical effect on tissue ingrowth. A swine full-thickness skin wound model confirmed through histology and Computer Planimetry that scaffolds promote skin-graft survival, with or without collagen coating, with equal safety and efficacy as a commercially available tissue engineered scaffold. This study validates a scalable method to create poly(ι-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) scaffolds with appropriate characteristics and confirms in mouse and swine wound models that the scaffolds are safe and effective at supporting skin-grafts. The results of this study have brought us closer towards developing an alternative technology that supports skin grafts with the potential to investigate long-term hypertrophic scar contractures.

Citation: 

Ruppert, David S., Mahmoud M. Mohammed, Mohamed M. Ibrahim, Emilio O. Bachtiar, Kevin Erning, Kayvan Ansari, Jeffrey I. Everitt, et al. “Poly(lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) scaffold promotes equivalent tissue integration and supports skin grafts compared to a predicate collagen scaffold.” Wound Repair Regen 29, no. 6 (November 2021): 1035–50. https://doi.org/10.1111/wrr.12951.

Published Date: 
Monday, November 1, 2021
Published In: 
Wound Repair Regen
PMID: 
34129714