In this study, we have developed mineral coatings on polycaprolactone scaffolds to serve as templates for growth factor binding and release. Mineral coatings were formed using a biomimetic approach that consisted in the incubation of scaffolds in modified simulated body fluids (mSBF). To modulate the properties of the mineral coating, which we hypothesized would dictate growth factor release, we used carbonate (HCO(3)) concentration in mSBF of 4.2 mm, 25 mm, and 100 mm. Analysis of the mineral coatings formed using scanning electron microscopy indicated growth of a continuous layer of mineral with different morphologies. X-ray diffraction analysis showed peaks associated with hydroxyapatite, the major inorganic constituent of human bone tissue in coatings formed in all HCO(3) concentrations. Mineral coatings with increased HCO(3) substitution showed more rapid dissolution kinetics in an environment deficient in calcium and phosphate but showed re-precipitation in an environment with the aforementioned ions. The mineral coating provided an effective mechanism for growth factor binding and release. Peptide versions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) were bound with efficiencies up to 90% to mineral mineral-coated PCL scaffolds. We also demonstrated sustained release of all growth factors with release kinetics that were strongly dependent in the solubility of the mineral coating.
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