The aim of this study was to investigate the biomechanical and biological properties of a nanocomposite scaffold containing both mineral and polysaccharide constituents. Hydroxyapatite nanoparticles (n-HA) was synthesized from dead abra ovata shells using wet chemical methods and was used in different ratios in concert with gum Arabic, a branched plant polysaccharide. N-HA/gum nanocomposite was fabricated with freeze-drying process and characterized by FTIR and SEM for chemical structure and morphology. Porosity was estimated using liquid substitution method. The scaffold mechanical properties were evaluated by compressive test measurement. Osteogenic differentiation was assessed using alkaline phosphatase production and biomineralization was evaluated using Alizarin red assay. Results demonstrated that the hydroxyapatite/gum Arabic nanocomposite had favorable biocompatibility and a similar structure to natural bone matrix. Porous nanocomposite possessed macropore networks with a porosity 87-93% and mean pore size ranging between 164 and 230 μm. The gum/HA with a ratio of 50% w/w HA had the highest compressive modulus of ∼75.3 MPa Pa (MPa) and the ultimate compressive stress of ∼16.6 MPa. C2C12 cells cultured on a scaffold with higher percentage (40 and 50 w/w) of HA demonstrated increased ALP levels and calcium deposition. The data from the present study demonstrated significant changes to the biomechanical properties and osteoconductivity of the nanocomposite scaffold by modulating its mineral content. Nanocomposite scaffolds containing gum and n-HA of 40-50% exhibited highest mechanical properties, as well as supported increased biomineralization.
Keywords: C2C12; Gum Arabic; Mechanical properties; Osteoinduction; n-HA.
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