In Vitro and in Vivo Study of Poly(Lactic⁻co⁻Glycolic) (PLGA) Membranes Treated with Oxygen Plasma and Coated with Nanostructured Hydroxyapatite Ultrathin Films for Guided Bone Regeneration Processes

Polymers (Basel). 2017 Sep 2;9(9):410. doi: 10.3390/polym9090410.


The novelty of this study is the addition of an ultrathin layer of nanostructured hydroxyapatite (HA) on oxygen plasma modified poly(lactic⁻co⁻glycolic) (PLGA) membranes (PO₂) in order to evaluate the efficiency of this novel material in bone regeneration.

Methods: Two groups of regenerative membranes were prepared: PLGA (control) and PLGA/PO₂/HA (experimental). These membranes were subjected to cell cultures and then used to cover bone defects prepared on the skulls of eight experimental rabbits.

Results: Cell morphology and adhesion of the osteoblasts to the membranes showed that the osteoblasts bound to PLGA were smaller and with a lower number of adhered cells than the osteoblasts bound to the PLGA/PO₂/HA membrane (p < 0.05). The PLGA/PO₂/HA membrane had a higher percentage of viable cells bound than the control membrane (p < 0.05). Both micro-CT and histological evaluation confirmed that PLGA/PO₂/HA membranes enhance bone regeneration. A statistically significant difference in the percentage of osteoid area in relation to the total area between both groups was found.

Conclusions: The incorporation of nanometric layers of nanostructured HA into PLGA membranes modified with PO₂ might be considered for the regeneration of bone defects. PLGA/PO₂/HA membranes promote higher osteosynthetic activity, new bone formation, and mineralisation than the PLGA control group.

Keywords: PLGA; guided bone regeneration; hydroxyapatite; magnetron sputtering; oxygen plasma treatment.