Systematic selection of solvents for the fabrication of 3D combined macro- and microporous polymeric scaffolds for soft tissue engineering Academic Article uri icon


  • In this study, we investigate the fabrication of 3D porous poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) scaffolds using the thermally-induced phase separation technique. The current study focuses on the selection of alternative solvents for this process using a number of criteria, including predicted solubility, toxicity, removability and processability. Solvents were removed via either vacuum freeze-drying or leaching, depending on their physical properties. The residual solvent was tested using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. A large range of porous, highly interconnected scaffold architectures with tunable pore size and alignment was obtained, including combined macro- and microporous structures and an entirely novel 'porous-fibre' structure. The morphological features of the most promising poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) scaffolds were analysed via scanning electron microscopy and X-ray micro-computed tomography in both two and three dimensions. The Young's moduli of the scaffolds under conditions of temperature, pH and ionic strength similar to those found in the body were tested and were found to be highly dependent on the architectures.

publication date

  • January 2006

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