Fabrication of dopamine modified polylactide-poly(ethylene glycol) scaffolds with adjustable properties

Bio-based polymers have been widely used to be as scaffolds for repairing the bone defects. However, the polymer scaffolds are generally lack of bioactivity and cell recognition site. Seeking effective ways to improve the bioactivity and interaction between materials and tissue or cells is clinically important for long-term performance of bone repair materials. In this work, polylactide-b-poly(ethylene glycol)-b-polylactide (PLA-PEG-PLA, PLEL) tri-block copolymers were firstly synthesized by ring-opening polymerization of lactide using PEG with various molecular weights. Inspired by excellent adhesion of dopamine (DA), a facile and effective method was developed to fabricate polydopamine (PDA) and polydopamine/nano-hydroxyapatite (PDA/n-HA) modified PLEL scaffolds by deposition of PDA and PDA/n-HA coating. The surface structure, degradation rates and mineralization of the modified PLEL scaffolds were investigated, and obviously improved after immobilization of PDA and PDA/n-HA coatings. Moreover, the biocompatible results showed a significant increase in cells viability and adhesion. Therefore, the surface modification with PDA and PDA/n-HA could not only adjust the properties of scaffolds, but also reinforce the interfacial adhesion between the PLEL and cells.