Poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) has been extensively explored for bone regeneration applications; however, its clinical use is limited by low osteointegration. Therefore, approaches that incorporate osteoconductive molecules are of great interest. Graphene oxide (GO) is gaining popularity for biomedical applications due to its ability to bind biological molecules and present them for enhanced bioactivity. This study reports the preparation of PLGA microparticles via Pickering emulsification using GO as the sole surfactant, which resulted in hybrid microparticles in the size range of 1.1 to 2.4 µm based on the ratio of GO to PLGA in the reaction. Furthermore, this study demonstrated that the hybrid GO-PLGA microparticles were not cytotoxic to either primary human fetal cartilage rudiment cells or the human osteoblast-like cell line, Saos-2. Additionally, the GO-PLGA microparticles promoted the osteogenic differentiation of the human fetal cartilage rudiment cells in the absence of exogenous growth factors to a greater extent than PLGA alone. These findings demonstrate that GO-PLGA microparticles are cytocompatible, osteoinductive and have potential as substrates for bone tissue engineering.
Keywords: PLGA; bone tissue engineering; graphene oxide; osteoblast; stem cell.