Supercritical Fluid Processing of Materials for Regenerative Medicine
Matthew Purcell, Steven M. Howdle, Kevin M. Shakesheff and Lisa J. White
Affiliation: Centre for Biomolecular Sciences, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK.
Keywords: Drug delivery, polymer processing, regenerative medicine, scaffolds, supercritical fluids, tissue engineering.
In the field of regenerative medicine scaffolds, supercritical fluids (SCFs) were initially utilised to create microporous
biodegradable polymeric foams. Supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) and other SCFs were desirable solvents
as they were inexpensive, non-toxic, non-flammable, did not leave residues and could be reclaimed from other processes.
Additionally, the plasticisation of polymers by scCO2 provided opportunities for the incorporation of thermolabile molecules.
Whilst SCFs are still well utilised in the production of foamed matrices their versatility has enabled their use in
other processes such as microparticle formation, polymer purification, sterilisation, tissue decellularisation and medical
device coatings. Recent patents and innovative developments pertaining to the use of supercritical fluids in these processes
are discussed herein.
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