Stem cells accept the degradation products of Poly (ε-caprolactone)

One of the serious health issues experiencing by humans in the world are accidental injuries and associated complications. Treatment strategies for these injuries are depending on their severity and age of the person gets injured. Among this, bone fracture and amputations are common in day today life, arising from road and occupational accidents. So, clinically medical practitioners are searching for the most biocompatible material to do implantation and orthopaedic surgery. It is already recognised that bio degradable polymers can solve this problem for some extent.

Fig. 1. Integration of PCL with mesenchymal stem cells.

Poly (ε-caprolactone) [PCL] was a synthesised polymer with long term degradation potential of 2-4 yrs. It was known to be a biodegradable polymer with extensive use in biomedical applications like drug delivery, gene delivery and bone implantation. This aliphatic polymer degrades by two mechanisms include, the hydrolysis of ester bonds autocatalyzed by the carboxylic acid end group of the polymer or by loss of their amorphous or crystalline phase structure. Biomaterial degradation products and their leachables may or may not cause adverse effect to the tissue, organs or whole system of the body to which they are in contact. While studying at the cellular level, the degradation products induce cytotoxicity through different mechanisms inside the cells. Direct or indirect damage to the cellular morphology and cellular organelles are the most common toxic intervention by these leachables.

Interaction of degraded molecules with cellular components will results in loss of cell membrane protein integrity, mitochondrial membrane damage, reactive oxygen species generation, oxidative burst, DNA damage and loss of clonogenic efficiency. Since, the wild application of PCL is in bone implantation, bone marrow cells are in close proximity to interaction with these materials. So, In vitro toxicity study using bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells have great significance in the field of research on implantation surgery. From the study, it was observed that similar to PCL; their degradable product also shows no toxicity to mesenchymal stem cells isolated from mouse bone marrow (Fig. 1). The material extract didn’t cause any cell membrane destabilization, ROS generation, mitochondrial damage, DNA degradation or apoptosis. The interaction of PCL extracts with mesenchymal stem cells has no adverse effect to their clonogenic potential also. The extract shows excellent hemocompatibility in vitro. Hence, it was suggested that pure unmodified PCL and its degradation products exhibit excellent biocompatibility even at molecular level.

Sukanya VS, Prajitha N, Mohanan PV
Toxicology Division, Biomedical Technology Wing,
Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology,
Poojapura, Thiruvananthapuram 695 012, Kerala, India


Degradation of Poly(ε-caprolactone) and bio-interactions with mouse bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells.
V S S, P V M
Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2018 Mar 1


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