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Novel potential scaffold for periodontal tissue engineering.

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Abstract
The objective of the study is characterization of novel calcium and zinc-loaded electrospun matrices to be used for periodontal regeneration. A polymethylmetacrylate-based membrane was calcium or zinc loaded. Matrices were characterized morphologically by atomic force and scanning electron microscopy and mechanically probed by a nanoindenter. Biomimetic calcium phosphate precipitation on polymeric tissues was assessed. Cell viability tests were performed using oral mucosa fibroblasts. Data were analyzed by Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests or by ANOVA and Student-Newman-Keuls multiple comparisons. Zinc and calcium loading on matrices did not modify their morphology but increased nanomechanical properties and decreased nanoroughness. Precipitation of calcium and phosphate on the matrix surfaces was observed in zinc-loaded specimens. Matrices were found to be non-toxic to cells in all the assays. Calcium- and zinc-loaded scaffolds presented a very low cytotoxic effect. Zinc-loaded membranes permit cell viability and promoted mineral precipitation in physiological conditions. Based on the tested nanomechanical properties and scaffold architecture, the proposed membranes may be suitable for cell proliferation. The ability of zinc-loaded matrices to promote precipitation of calcium phosphate deposits, together with their observed non-toxicity and its surface chemistry allowing covalent binding of proteins, may offer new strategies for periodontal regeneration.
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Calcium, Nanopolymers, Regeneration, Scaffolds, Zinc
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