02 April 2022
Sol-Gel-Derived Fibers Based on Amorphous α-Hydroxy-Carboxylate-Modified Titanium(IV) Oxide as a 3-Dimensional Scaffold
The development of novel fibrous biomaterials and further processing of medical devices is still challenging. For instance, titanium(IV) oxide is a well-established biocompatible material, and the synthesis of TiOx particles and coatings via the sol-gel process has frequently been published. However, synthesis protocols of sol-gel-derived TiOx fibers are hardly known. In this publication, the authors present a synthesis and fabrication of purely sol-gel-derived TiOx fiber fleeces starting from the liquid sol-gel precursor titanium ethylate (TEOT). Here, the α-hydroxy-carboxylic acid lactic acid (LA) was used as a chelating ligand to reduce the reactivity towards hydrolysis of TEOT enabling a spinnable sol. The resulting fibers were processed into a non-woven fleece, characterized with FTIR, 13C-MAS-NMR, XRD, and screened with regard to their stability in physiological solution. They revealed an unexpected dependency between the LA content and the dissolution behavior. Finally, in vitro cell culture experiments proved their potential suitability as an open-mesh structured scaffold material, even for challenging applications such as therapeutic medicinal products (ATMPs).