Shiv Purohit1 Rakesh Bhaskar2 Hemant Singh1 Indu Yadav1 Mukesh Gupta2 Narayan Mishra1

1, Polymer and Process Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, , India
2, Biotechnology and Medical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Rourkela, Rourkela, , India

It has been observed that polymeric scaffolds loaded with cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeONP) hold great potential for tissue engineering applications. In this study, nanocomposite scaffolds (NCS) have been fabricated by freeze drying of aqueous mixture of the CeONP, gelatin and alginate, with a goal of obtaining CeONP incorporated porous biocompatible scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications. Further, influence of varying concentration of CeONP, on the scaffold properties, was evaluated in terms of mechanical, biodegradation, cell attachment and cell proliferation properties of the scaffold. Field emission scanning electron microscopy images of the NCS revealed presence of interconnected pores. The NCS was highly porous with porosity ranging from 82-89%. The CeONP covered the surface of the composite matrix and made the surface of the NCS rougher. Compressive strength of the NCS was found to be significantly higher than the gelatin/alginate scaffolds which are not having any CeONP. This may be due to the CeONP present in the NCS. High % swelling (~640%) of the NCS indicates its hydrophilicity. Slow biodegradation (~26% in 30 days) indicates its suitability for bone regeneration. In vitro cell culture studies, by seeding MG-63 osteoblast-like cells over NCS and performing cell attachment studies, MTT assay, Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy of cell-scaffold construct and Giemsa staining, showed an enhancement in cell attachment, proliferation and adhesion as compared to the gelatin/alginate scaffold which are not having any CeONP: this indicates the influence of the CeONP of such enhancement in the scaffold properties which, in turn, can enhance bone regeneration process ultimately. Thus, it could be stated that the incorporation of CeONP to gelatin-alginate, or in other words, the CeONP incorporated composite scaffold has vital importance for applications in bone tissue-engineering in future regenerative therapies.