Polycaprolactone (PCL) is a widely accepted synthetic biodegradable polymer for tissue engineering, however its use in hard tissue engineering is limited because of its inadequate mechanical strength and low bioactivity. In this study, we used halloysite nanoclay (NC) as an inorganic filler material to prepare PCL/NC fibrous scaffolds via electrospinning technique after intercalating NC within PCL by solution intercalation method. The obtained nanofibrous mat was found to be mechanically superior to PCL fibrous scaffolds. These scaffolds allowed greater protein adsorption and enhanced mineralization when incubated in simulated body fluid. Moreover, our results indicated that human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) seeded on these scaffolds were viable and could proliferate faster than in PCL scaffolds as confirmed by fluorescence and scanning electron microscopic observations. Further, osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs on nanoclay embedded scaffolds was demonstrated by an increase in alkaline phosphatase activity when compared to PCL scaffold without nanoclay. All of these results suggest the potential of PCL/NC scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012.
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G. Nitya, Nair, G. T., Dr. Ullas Mony, Chennazhi, K. P., and Nair, S. V., “In vitro evaluation of electrospun PCL/nanoclay composite scaffold for bone tissue engineering”, Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine, vol. 23, pp. 1749-1761, 2012.