Porous composite structures derived from multiphase polymer blends
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Porous biopolymer structures have attracted a lot of attention in the recent years because of their potential applications in tissue engineering. In this work, porous structures of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) reinforced with organically modified montmorillonite (Cl15A) were fabricated. A ternary, co-continuous blend consisting of PLGA/PS/Cl15A (PS: Polystyrene) was prepared by melt extrusion. Then, a porous PLGA composite was created by the sacrificial extraction of the PS phase. The morphological characterization revealed the creation of a well-formed 3D porous network consisting of Cl15A-reinforced PLGA. Quantitative results obtained from the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs of the fabricated porous structures show that small variations in the clay loading affect the geometrical characteristics (% porosity and pores average diameter) of these porous structures. The results suggest that these porous PLGA/clay structures may be promising candidates for mechanically strong scaffolds in tissue engineering applications, but this remains upon testing. POLYM.