Hybrid scaffolds for tissue engineering are becoming increasingly complex through incorporation of biologically active biomacromolecules. There is a need to develop a compatible sterilization method that is capable of killing microorganisms, without adversely affecting the labile scaffold biomaterials or biomacromolecular components. Pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment has been successful as a nonthermal microbial inactivation-pasteurization method within the food industry. We have previously demonstrated that PEF treatment inactivates E. coli seeded in collagen gels. Here, we show that PEF treatment does not affect the structural integrity of the collagen molecule or its adsorption to polystyrene and hydroxyapatite surfaces. Moreover, osteoblast cells cultured on PEF-treated collagen, which was coated onto two- and three-dimensional scaffolds, retained their normal morphology, growth rate, and functionality. PEF treatment, therefore, shows great potential to be used as a sterilization method for collagen-based biomaterials.
- pulsed electric field
- sterilization of biomaterials
- scaffolds for tissue engineering
- cell culture