Compared to conventional poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA), previous studies have shown that NaOH-treated PLGA improves chondrocyte (or cartilage synthesizing cells) adhesion, growth, differentiation, and extracellular matrix synthesis. This was accomplished by simply treating PLGA scaffolds with 1 N NaOH for 10 min. However, little is known why chondrocytes prefer NaOH-treated over non-treated PLGA. For this reason, the objective of the present in vitro study was to determine initial protein interactions with NaOH-treated PLGA that may be responsible for enhanced chondrocyte functions. Results demonstrated that compared to non-treated PLGA, NaOH-treated PLGA increased fibronectin adsorption and resulted in better infiltration and spreading of fibronectin and vitronectin; all events important to promote chondrocyte functions. Underlying material properties that may have enhanced these initial protein interactions include a more hydrophilic surface (due to hydrolytic degradation of PLGA by NaOH), increased surface area, altered porosity (both % and diameter of individual pores), and a greater degree of nanometer roughness. For these reasons, this study provides evidence that NaOH-treatment may be a simple, inexpensive technique to increase initial protein interactions needed for greater chondrocyte functions on PLGA.
Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.