6). Figure 6. B-line reproduction by hydration of gelatin samples using different controlled water selleck 17-AAG volumes. One 10 ��L drop (A) and two drops (B) spaced about 1 cm apart. Materials and Methods Materials All materials were purchased from Sigma-Aldrich. A 5% w/v gelatin solution was prepared by dissolving gelatin (Type A) in deionized water dH2O stirring the solution for 1 h at 50��C. A batch cross-linking solution of glutaraldehyde (GTA) in water was prepared with a concentration of 0.1 M and used for sequential dilution. A 40% v/v ethanol: dH2O solution was used to rinse samples. Preparation of porous gelatin matrices Gelatin sponges were prepared to evaluate the porosity and mechanical properties as functions of cross-linking conditions as well as to recreate B-lines in an in vitro model.
In particular, the preparation method was divided into two steps. In the first step gelatin was cross-linked using GTA with different concentration (nominated GC); then, in order to obtain a porous matrix, a freeze-drying process was used as described by Lien et al.17 Briefly GTA was added to a 5% w/v gelatin solution to obtain a final volume of 1 mL and 0.1, 1 and 10 mM GC scaffolds were fabricated. The scaffolds were kept in a plastic tube (internal diameter 12 mm) at 25��C for 12 h, until the cross-link reaction had occurred. Two cooling steps were used to freeze the samples; the first step in a refrigerator at 4��C for 6 h and then the second step in a -20��C freezer over-night. Finally samples were freeze-dried (-50��C, 150 mBar) until all water content was removed.
Measurement of swelling ratio The water absorption capability of porous gelatin structures was determined by immersing freeze-dried samples in water for 1, 24 and 48 h. The swelling ratio was calculated according the following equation (Eq. 1): In which Wd is the air-dried scaffold weight and Ww is the weight of the wet scaffold.10 Porosity evaluation The porosity was evaluated by imbibition method and was assumed as the gelatin volume fraction in the swollen samples (). Through the water saturation, pore volume was evaluated by weighing swollen and dried samples. The gelatin volume fraction was calculated according to Equation 2:18,19 in which W0 is the dry weight of the sample, W is the weight of the swollen sample, ��w is the density of the water at RT (room temperature), and �� is the density of the dry gelatin sample.
Pore dimension was evaluated through histological analysis. Samples were embedded and fixed in Tissue-Tek O.C.T. before cryo-sectioning. Horizontal sections of 10 ��m thickness were obtained from the cylindrical scaffolds and then observed with an optical microscope (Olympus IX81, Olympus Italia, 4X objective). Measurement of mechanical properties Compressive mechanical tests were Batimastat performed using a twin column testing machine Zwick-Roell Z005 Instron (Zwick Testing Machines, Ltd.).