Macroporous chitosan scaffolds reinforced by beta-tricalcium phosphate (beta-TCP) and calcium phosphate invert glasses were fabricated using a thermally induced phase separation technique. These porous composite materials were specially designed as both a drug carrier for controlled drug release and a scaffold for bone regeneration. The controlled drug release of antibiotic gentamicin-sulfate (GS) loaded scaffolds and morphology of osteosarcoma MG63 cells cultured on the scaffolds were studied. In comparison with the GS loaded pure chitosan scaffolds, the initial burst release of GS was decreased through incorporating calcium phosphate crystals and glasses into the scaffolds, and the sustained release for more than 3 weeks was achieved. The possible mechanisms for the controlled drug release were investigated by SEM, FTIR, and measurements of the pH values of the PBS solution during the drug release test. SEM micrographs showed no apparent morphological differences for osteoblastic cells grown on the pure chitosan scaffolds and those grown on composite scaffolds. The cells were attached and migrated on these scaffolds, and exhibited a biological appearance, suggesting a good cellular compatibility.
Copyright 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.