Porous poly-L-lactide-co-1-caprolactone scaffold: A novel biomaterial for vaginal tissue engineering

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The surgical reconstruction of functional neovagina is challenging and susceptible to complications. Therefore, developing tissue engineering-based treatment methods for vaginal defects is important. Our aim was to develop and test a novel supercritical carbon dioxide foamed poly-L-lactide-co-1-caprolactone (scPLCL) scaffold for vaginal reconstruction. The scaffolds were manufactured and characterized for porosity (65 + 4%), pore size (350 + 150 mm) and elastic modulus (2.8 + 0.4 MPa). Vaginal epithelial (EC) and stromal cells (SC) were isolated, expanded and characterized with flow cytometry. Finally, cells were cultured with scPLCL scaffolds in separate and/or co-cultures. Their attachment, viability, proliferation and phenotype were analysed. Both cell types strongly expressed cell surface markers CD44, CD73 and CD166. Strong expression of CD326 was detected with ECs and CD90 and CD105 with SCs. Both ECs and SCs attached and maintained viability on scPLCL. Further, scPLCL supported the proliferation of especially ECs, which also maintained epithelial phenotype (cytokeratin expression) during 14-day assessment period. Interestingly, ECs expressed uroplakin (UP) Ia, UPIb and UPIII markers: further, UPIa and UPIII expression was significantly higher on ECs cultured on scPLCL than on cell culture plastic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number180811
Pages (from-to)18081
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cell characterization
  • Neovagina
  • Poly-L-lactide-co-1-caprolactone
  • Vaginal epithelial cell
  • Vaginal stromal cell
  • Vaginal tissue engineering

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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