Microporous poly(l-lactic acid) membranes fabricated by polyethylene glycol solvent-cast/particulate leaching technique

Shivaram Selvam, Wenji V. Chang, Tamako Nakamura, Deedar M. Samant, Padmaja B. Thomas, Melvin D. Trousdale, Austin K. Mircheff, Joel E. Schechter, Samuel C. Yiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


With the eventual goal of developing a tissue-engineered tear secretory system, we found that primary lacrimal gland acinar cells grown on solid poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) supports expressed the best histiotypic morphology. However, to be able to perform vectorial transport functions, epithelia must be supported by a permeable substratum. In the present study, we describe the use of a solvent-cast/particulate leaching technique to fabricate microporous PLLA membranes (mpPLLAm) from PLLA/polyethylene glycol blends. Scanning electron microscopy revealed pores on both the air-cured (∼4 μm) and glass-cured sides (<2 μm) of the mpPLLAm. Diffusion studies were performed with mpPLLAm fabricated from 57.1% PLLA/42.9% polyethylene glycol blends to confirm the presence of channelized pores. The data reveal that glucose, L-tryptophan, and dextran (a high molecular weight glucose polymer) readily permeate mpPLLAm. Diffusion of the immunoglobulin G through the mpPLLAm decreased with time, suggesting the possible adsorption and occlusion of the pores. Cells cultured on the mpPLLAm (57.1/42.9 wt%) grew to subconfluent monolayers but retained histiotypic morphological and physiological characteristics of lacrimal acinar cells in vivo. Our results suggest that mpPLLAm fabricated using this technique may be useful as a scaffold for a bioartificial lacrimal gland device.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-474
Number of pages12
JournalTissue Engineering - Part C: Methods
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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