Poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) based medical devices are increasingly produced and thus, their presence in the environment is likely to increase. The present study analysed the biodegradation of PCL electro-spun scaffolds (alone) and PCL electro-spun scaffolds coated with human recombinant (hR) collagen and Bovine Achilles tendon (BAT) collagen in sewage sludge and in soil. Additionally, an eco-toxicological test with the model organism Enchytraeus crypticus was performed to assess environmental hazard of the produced materials in soils. The electro-spun scaffolds were exposed to activated sludge and three different soils for various time periods (0-7-14-21-28-56-180 days); subsequently the degradation was determined by weight loss and microscopical analysis. Although no toxicity occurred in terms of Enchytraeus crypticus reproduction, our data indicate that biodegradation was dependent on the coating of the material and exposure condition. Further, only partial PCL decomposition was possible in sewage treatment plants. Collectively, these data indicate that electro-spun PCL scaffolds are transferred to amended soils.
Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 30, 2018
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