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Development of a nanocomposite polymer for craniofacial reconstruction

Griffin, M; (2016) Development of a nanocomposite polymer for craniofacial reconstruction. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Current auricular reconstruction involves harvesting autologous rib cartilage and carving this into a new ear. However, this causes donor site morbidity, pain, has many surgical risks, and can fail as the cartilage changes shape with time. High levels of extrusion and infection also limit Medpor, the currently available synthetic material replacement. The work described in this thesis is concerned with the development and characterisation of a non-biodegradable scaffold for auricular reconstruction. A novel nanocomposite biomaterial, called POSS-PCU, was optimised to meet the requirements of an auricular synthetic replacement. This thesis aims to meet three objectives to optimise POSS-PCU as an auricle replacement. Firstly, the compressive properties of the human auricle were identified to ensure that POSS-PCU had the mechanical properties to provide anatomical shape. Secondly, POSS-PCU’s manufacturing process was optimised to mimic the biomechanical properties of the human auricle. Using a salt-leaching manufacturing technique, POSS-PCU’s compressive biomechanical properties were matched to the human auricle. Thirdly, different plasma surface modification (PSM) techniques were evaluated to reverse the hydrophobicity of the POSS-PCU scaffold, in order to improve cell adhesion and support tissue integration once implanted beneath the skin. Argon (Ar) PSM showed enhanced fibroblast cell adhesion, growth, and collagen production in vitro compared to Nitrogen (N2) or Oxygen (O2) modification. Subcutaneous implantation over three months in vivo also showed improved tissue integration and angiogenesis with Ar modification. Lastly, to observe if the modification of POSS-PCU had provided a suitable auricular replacement, the nanocomposite material was compared to Medpor. In comparison to Medpor, Ar-modified scaffolds improved fibroblast adhesion and collagen formation in vitro and tissue integration and vascularisation in vivo without an immune reaction. Ar-POSS-PCU scaffolds look promising for cartilage replacement and will be investigated in a Good Manufacturing Practice and Good Laboratory Practice trial before embarking on a clinical trial.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Development of a nanocomposite polymer for craniofacial reconstruction
Event: University College London
Language: English
Keywords: craniofacial, cartilage, auricular reconstruction, nanocomposite, surface modification, plasma surface modification, biomaterials, alloplastic material, angiogenesis, tissue integration, polymer, ear reconstruction
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1529362
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