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Injectable and porous PLGA microspheres that form highly porous scaffolds at body temperature


Omar Qutachi

Jolanda R. Vetch

Daniel Gill

Helen Cox

Principal Research Fellow

Sandra Hofmann


Robin A. Quirk

Kevin M. Shakesheff

Cheryl V. Rahman


Injectable scaffolds are of interest in the field of regenerative medicine because of their minimally invasive mode of delivery. For tissue repair applications, it is essential that such scaffolds have the mechanical properties, porosity and pore diameter to support the formation of new tissue. In the current study, porous poly(DL-lactic acid-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres were fabricated with an average size of 84 ± 24 lm for use as injectable cell carriers. Treatment with ethanolic sodium hydroxide for 2 min was observed to increase surface porosity without causing the microsphere structure to disintegrate. This surface treatment also enabled the microspheres to fuse together at 37 C to form scaffold structures. The average compressive strength of the scaffolds after 24 h at 37 C was 0.9 ± 0.1 MPa, and the average Young’s modulus was 9.4 ± 1.2 MPa. Scaffold porosity levels were 81.6% on average, with a mean pore diameter of 54 ± 38 lm. This study demonstrates a method for fabricating porous PLGA microspheres that form solid porous scaffolds at body temperature, creating an injectable system capable of supporting NIH-3T3 cell attachment and proliferation in vitro.


Qutachi, O., Vetch, J. R., Gill, D., Cox, H., Scurr, D. J., Hofmann, S., …Rahman, C. V. (2014). Injectable and porous PLGA microspheres that form highly porous scaffolds at body temperature. Acta Biomaterialia, 10(12), 5090-5098.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 15, 2014
Online Publication Date Aug 23, 2014
Publication Date Dec 1, 2014
Deposit Date Sep 15, 2017
Publicly Available Date Mar 6, 2019
Electronic ISSN 1878-7568
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 12
Pages 5090-5098
Keywords PLGA; Microsphere; Scaffold; Porosity; Cell delivery
Public URL
Publisher URL
PMID 25152354


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