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Preparation and Characterization of Nano-Laponite/PLGA Composite Scaffolds for Urethra Tissue Engineering

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The purpose of this study was to construct a biomimetic urethral repair substitute. The nano-Laponite/polylactic acid–glycolic acid copolymer (PLGA) fiber scaffolds were produced to replicate the natural human urethra tissue microenvironment. PLGA (molar ratio 50:50) and Laponite were used in this study as raw materials. The nano-Laponite/PLGA scaffolds were fabricated via electrospinning technology. After preparing the material, the microstructural and mechanical properties of the nano-Laponite/PLGA scaffold were tested via scanning electron microscopy and electronic universal testing. The effects of different amounts of Laponite on the degradation of the nano-Laponite/PLGA scaffold were studied. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were co-cultured with PLGA and nano-Laponite/PLGA scaffolds for 24, 48, or 72 h. Scanning electron microscopy results illustrated that the microstructure of the scaffold fabricated by electrospinning was similar to that of the natural extracellular matrix. When the electrospinning liquid contained 10% Laponite, the nano-Laponite/PLGA stress–strain curve illustrated that the scaffold has strong elastic deformation ability. HUVECs exhibited good growth on the nano-Laponite/PLGA scaffold. When the scaffold contained 1% Laponite, the cell proliferation rate in the CCK-8 test was significantly better than that for the other three materials, displaying good cell culture characteristics. The 1% nano-Laponite/PLGA composite scaffold can be used as a suitable urethral repair material, but its performance requires further development and research.

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This study was financially supported by grants from the Guangzhou Women and Children Medical Center (No. 0170006), Taishan Young Scholar Program (No. qnts20161035), and Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation for Outstanding Young Scholar (No. ZR2019YQ30), Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation for Key Basic Research (No. ZR2019ZD24).

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Correspondence to Jiakang Yu or Daquan Chen.

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The authors have no financial conflicts of interest.

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Wang, Z., Hu, J., Yu, J. et al. Preparation and Characterization of Nano-Laponite/PLGA Composite Scaffolds for Urethra Tissue Engineering. Mol Biotechnol 62, 192–199 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12033-020-00237-z

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  • Laponite
  • PLGA
  • Urethral stent
  • Electrospinning
  • HUVECs