The effect of ozone gas sterilization on the properties and cell compatibility of electrospun polycaprolactone scaffolds

Carolina Rediguieri, Paul De Bank, Maria Helena Ambrosio Zanin, Patrícia Leo, Natalia Neto Pereira Cerize, Adriano Marim de Oliveira, Terezinha Pinto

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The growing area of tissue engineering has the potential to alleviate the shortage of tissues and organs for transplantation, and electrospun biomaterial scaffolds are extremely promising devices for translating engineered tissues into a clinical setting. However, to be utilized in this capacity, these medical devices need to be sterile. Traditional methods of sterilization are not always suitable for biomaterials, especially as many commonly used biomedical polymers are sensitive to chemical-, thermal- or radiation-induced damage. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the suitability of ozone gas for sterilizing electrospun scaffolds of polycaprolactone (PCL), a polymer widely utilized in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications, by evaluating if scaffolds composed of either nanofibres or microfibres were differently affected by the sterilization method. The sterility, morphology, mechanical properties, physicochemical properties, and response of cells to nanofibrous and microfibrous PCL scaffolds were assessed after ozone gas sterilization. The sterilization process successfully sterilized the scaffolds and preserved most of their initial attributes, except for mechanical properties. However, although the scaffolds became weaker after sterilization, they were still robust enough to use as tissue engineering scaffolds and this treatment increased the proliferation of L929 fibroblasts while maintaining cell viability, suggesting that ozone gas treatment may be a suitable technique for the sterilization of polymer scaffolds which are significantly damaged by other methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1918-1934
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition
Issue number16
Early online date30 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2017


  • Sterilization
  • PCL
  • Electrospinning
  • Ozone
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Scaffolds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics


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