Solvent casting/particulate leaching has been used to synthesize highly porous polymeric scaffolds of controlled pore size, based on poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL). Obtained structures have a total porosity of c. 60%, with good interconnections between the pores. Porous scaffolds prepared using the greatest size of NaCl particles have the best mechanical properties. Both PMMA- and PCL-based materials can be sterilized by ionizing radiation. In the case of PCL-based scaffolds, irradiation causes cross-linking of polymer chains, which leads to an improvement of the mechanical properties of the scaffold. The compressive elastic modulus for non-porous samples increases with irradiation dose from 1.5 MPa for 0 kGy to 1.9 MPa for 280 kGy. Preliminary in vitro studies indicate good biocompatibility of both materials.
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