In this study, we have reported the incorporation of a multi-modal contrast agent based on hydroxyapatite nanocrystals, within a poly(caprolactone)(PCL) nanofibrous scaffold by electrospinning. The multifunctional hydroxyapatite nanoparticles (MF-nHAp) showed simultaneous contrast enhancement for three major molecular imaging techniques. In this article, the magnetic resonance (MR) contrast enhancement ability of the MF-nHAp was exploited for the purpose of potentially monitoring as well as for influencing tissue regeneration. These MF-nHAp containing PCL scaffolds were engineered in order to enhance the osteogenic potential as well as its MR functionality for their application in bone tissue engineering. The nano-composite scaffolds along with pristine PCL were evaluated physico-chemically and biologically in vitro, in the presence of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). The incorporation of 30-40 nm sized MF-nHAp within the nanofibers showed a substantial increase in scaffold strength, protein adsorption, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs along with enhanced MR functionality. This preliminary study was performed to eventually exploit the MR contrast imaging capability of MF-nHAp in nanofibrous scaffolds for real-time imaging of the changes in the tissue engineered construct. © Copyright 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
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, “Magnetic resonance functional nano-hydroxyapatite incorporated poly(caprolactone) composite scaffolds for in situ monitoring of bone tissue regeneration by MRI”, Tissue Engineering - Part A, vol. 20, pp. 2783-2794, 2014.