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Novel hybrid biocomposites for tendon grafts: The addition of silk to polydioxanone and poly(lactide-co-caprolactone) enhances material properties, in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility
journal contributionposted on 2023-03-06, 02:48 authored by Behzad Shiroud Heidari, Emma Muiños Lopez, Emma Harrington, Rui Ruan, Peilin Chen, Seyed Mohammad Davachi, Ben AllardyceBen Allardyce, Rangam RajkhowaRangam Rajkhowa, Rodney Dilley, Froilán Granero-Moltó, Elena M De-Juan-Pardo, Minghao Zheng, Barry Doyle
Biopolymers play a critical role as scaffolds used in tendon and ligament (TL) regeneration. Although advanced biopolymer materials have been proposed with optimised mechanical properties, biocompatibility, degradation, and processability, it is still challenging to find the right balance between these properties. Here, we aim to develop novel hybrid biocomposites based on poly(p-dioxanone) (PDO), poly(lactide-co-caprolactone) (LCL) and silk to produce high-performance grafts suitable for TL tissue repair. Biocomposites containing 1–15% of silk were studied through a range of characterisation techniques. We then explored biocompatibility through in vitro and in vivo studies using a mouse model. We found that adding up to 5% silk increases the tensile properties, degradation rate and miscibility between PDO and LCL phases without agglomeration of silk inside the composites. Furthermore, addition of silk increases surface roughness and hydrophilicity. In vitro experiments show that the silk improved attachment of tendon-derived stem cells and proliferation over 72 h, while in vivo studies indicate that the silk can reduce the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines after six weeks of implantation. Finally, we selected a promising biocomposite and created a prototype TL graft based on extruded fibres. We found that the tensile properties of both individual fibres and braided grafts could be suitable for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair applications.