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Abstract

Biocomposite foam scaffolds of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) with different porogenes were produced with batch foaming technique using supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) as a blowing agent. In performed experiments composites were prepared from graphene-oxide (nGO), nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA) and nano-cellulose (nC), with various concentrations. The objective of the study was to explore the effects of porogen concentration and foaming process parameters on the morphology and mechanical properties of three-dimensional porous structures that can be used as temporary scaffolds in tissue engineering. The structures were manufactured using scCO2 as a blowing agent, at two various foaming pressures (9 MPa and 18 MPa), at three different temperatures (323 K, 343 K and 373 K) for different saturation times (0.5 h, 1 h and 4 h). In order to examine the utility of porogenes, a number of tests, such as static compression tests, thermal analysis and scanning electron microscopy, have been performed. Analysis of experimental results showed that the investigated materials demonstrated high mechanical strength and a wide range of pore sizes. The obtained results suggest that PCL porous structures are useful as biodegradable and biocompatible scaffolds for tissue engineering.
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