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Using scaffolds with appropriate porosity represents a potential approach for repair of critical-size bone defects. Vascularization is essential for bone formation and healing. This study investigates methods for monitoring angiogenesis within porous biopolymer scaffolds on the basis of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB)/chitosan. We use the chick and quail chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay as an in vivo model focused on the formation of new blood vessels inside the implant structure. Chemical properties of the surface in biopolymer scaffold matrix were characterized as well as the tissue reaction of the CAM. Implantation of a piece of polymer scaffold results in vascular reaction, documented visually and by ultrasound biomicroscopy. Histological analysis shows myofibroblast reaction (smooth muscle actin-positive cells) without excessive collagen deposition. Cell invasion is observed inside the implant, and QH1 marker, detecting hemangioblasts and endothelial cells of quail origin, confirms the presence of vascular network. The CAM assay is a rapid and easy way to test biocompatibility and vasculogenic potential of new candidate scaffolds for bone tissue bioengineering with respect to the 3R´ s.
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