Design and development of nanocomposite scaffolds for auricular reconstruction

Leila Nayyer, Martin Birchall, Alexander M. Seifalian, Gavin Jell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Auricular reconstruction using sculpted autologous costal cartilage is effective, but complex and time consuming and may incur donor site sequelae and morbidity. Conventional synthetic alternatives are associated with infection and extrusion in up to about 15% of cases. We present a novel POSS-PCU nanocomposite auricular scaffold, which aims to reduce extrusion rates by mimicking the elastic modulus of human ears and by encouraging desirable cellular interactions. The fabrication, physicochemical properties (including nanoscale topography) and cellular interactions of these scaffolds were compared to Medpor®, the current synthetic standard. Our scaffold had a more similar elastic modulus (5.73 ± 0.17. MPa) to ear cartilage (5.02 ± 0.17. MPa) compared with Medpor®, which was much stiffer (140.9 ± 0.04. MPa). POSS-PCU supported fibroblast ingrowth and proliferation; significantly higher collagen production was also produced by cells on the POSS-PCU than those on Medpor®. This porous POSS-PCU nanocomposite scaffold is therefore a promising alternative biomaterial for auricular surgical reconstruction. From the Clinical Editor: In this paper, a novel POSS-PCU nanocomposite auricular scaffold is described to reduce extrusion rates by having a much closer elastic modulus of human ears than the currently available synthetic standard. Enabling desirable cellular interactions may lead to the successful clinical application of these novel scaffolds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-246
Number of pages12
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Auricle
  • Medpor®
  • Nanocomposite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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