Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Scaffolds With Good Mechanical Properties and Biocompatibility

Biomaterials. 2003 Mar;24(6):1041-5. doi: 10.1016/s0142-9612(02)00426-x.


Blending microbial polyesters polyhydroxyalkanoates containing polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) and poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyhexanoate) (PHBHHx) were turned into films and scaffolds. The films made from blending polyesters showed that the elongation to break of the blending PHBHHx/PHB film increased from 15% to 106% when PHBHHx content in the blend increased from 40% to 60%. Scaffolds made of PHBHHx/PHB consisting of 60 wt% PHBHHx showed strong growth and proliferation of chondrocytes on the blending materials under scanning electron microscope. Energy dispersive X-ray analysis of the extra cellular matrix on the scaffolds demonstrated a high level of calcium and phosphorus elements in a molar ratio of Ca/P at 1.66, this is approximately equal to that of natural material hydroxyapatite which has a Ca/P ratio of 1.67. This suggested that the chondrocyte cells grown on PHBHHx/PHB scaffolds presented effective physiological function for generation of cartilage.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Calorimetry, Differential Scanning
  • Caproates / chemistry
  • Cartilage, Articular / cytology
  • Cartilage, Articular / ultrastructure
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chondrocytes / cytology*
  • Chondrocytes / ultrastructure
  • Joints / cytology
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Polyesters / chemistry*
  • Rabbits
  • Tensile Strength


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Caproates
  • Polyesters
  • poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate)
  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid