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Abstract

This work focused on the development of porous scaffolds based on biocomposites comprising two biodegradable and biocompatible biopolymers: a terpolyester, poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) (PHBHVHHx), and the bacterial polysaccharide FucoPol. The PHBHVHHx terpolymer was composed of 3-hydroxybutyrate (55 wt%), 3-hydroxyvalerate (21 wt%), and 3-hydroxyhexanoate (24 wt%). This hydrophobic polyester has low crystallinity and can form elastic and flexible films. Fucopol is a fucose-containing water-soluble polysaccharide that forms viscous solutions with shear thinning behavior and has demonstrated emulsion-forming and stabilizing capacity and wound healing ability. Emulsion-templating was used to fabricate PHA-based porous structures in which FucoPol acted as a bioemulsifier. Compared with the scaffolds obtained from emulsions with only water, the use of FucoPol aqueous solutions resulted in structures with improved mechanical properties, namely higher tensile strength (4.4 MPa) and a higher Young’s Modulus (85 MPa), together with an elongation at break of 52%. These features, together with the scaffolds’ high porosity and pore interconnectivity, suggest their potential to sustain cell adhesion and proliferation, which is further supported by FucoPol’s demonstrated wound healing ability. Therefore, the developed PHBHVHHx:FucoPol scaffolds arise as innovative porous bioactive structures with great potential for use in tissue engineering applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2945
Number of pages18
JournalPolymers
Volume15
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2023

Keywords

  • emulsion templating
  • exopolysaccharide (EPS)
  • FucoPol
  • poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) (PHBHVHHx)
  • porous scaffold

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