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A collagen-poly(lactic acid-co-ɛ-caprolactone) hybrid scaffold for bladder tissue regeneration.
Scaffold materials should favor cell attachment and proliferation, and provide designable 3D structures with appropriate mechanical strength. Collagen matrices have proven to be beneficial scaffolds for tissue regeneration. However, apart from small intestinal submucosa, they offer a limited mechanical strength even if crosslinking can enhance their mechanical properties. A more cell-friendly way to increase material strength is to combine synthetic polymer meshes with plastic compressed collagen gels. This work describes the potential of plastic compressed collagen-poly(lactic acid-co-ɛ-caprolactone) (PLAC) hybrids as scaffolds for bladder tissue regeneration. Human bladder smooth muscle and urothelial cells were cultured on and inside collagen-PLAC hybrids in vitro. Scaffolds were analyzed by electron microscopy, histology, immunohistochemistry, and AlamarBlue assay. Both cell types proliferated in and on the hybrid, forming dense cell layers on top after two weeks. Furthermore, hybrids were implanted subcutaneously in the backs of nude mice. Host cell infiltration, scaffold degradation, and the presence of the seeded bladder cells were analyzed. Hybrids showed a lower inflammatory reaction in vivo than PLAC meshes alone, and first signs of polymer degradation were visible at six months. Collagen-PLAC hybrids have potential for bladder tissue regeneration, as they show efficient cell seeding, proliferation, and good mechanical properties.
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