This work investigates the effect of the sequential availability of ZnO nanoparticles, (nanorods of ~40 nm) loaded within a degradable poly(lactic acid) (PLLA) matrix, in cell differentiation. The system constitutes a dynamic surface, in which nanoparticles are exposed as the polymer matrix degrades. ZnO nanoparticles were loaded into PLLA and the system was measured at different time points to characterise the time evolution of the physicochemical properties, including wettability and thermal properties. The micro and nanostructure were also investigated using AFM, SEM and TEM images. Cellular experiments with C2C12 myoblasts show that cell differentiation was significantly enhanced on ZnO nanoparticles-loaded PLLA, as the polymer degrades and the availability of nanoparticles become more apparent, whereas the release of zinc within the culture medium was negligible. Our results suggest PLLA/ZnO nanocomposites can be used as a dynamic system where nanoparticles are exposed during degradation, activating the material surface and driving cell differentiation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry