In this study, a new foaming method, based on physical foaming combined with microwave-induced curing, is proposed in combination with a surface bioactivation to develop scaffold for bone tissue regeneration. In the first step of the process, a stable physical foaming was induced using a surfactant (Pluronic) as blowing agent of a homogeneous blend of Chitosan and polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA700) solutions. In the second step, the porous structure of the foaming was chemically stabilized by radical polymerization induced by homogeneous heating of the sample in a microwave reactor. In this step, 2,2-azobis[2-(2-imidazolin-2yl)propane]dihydrochloride was used as thermoinitiator (TI). Chitosan and PEGDA were mixed in different blends to investigate the influence of the composition on the final properties of the material. The chemical properties of each sample were evaluated by infrared attenuated total reflectance analysis, before and after curing in order to maximize reaction yield and optimize kinetic parameters (i.e. time curing, microwave power). Absorption capacity, elastic modulus, porosity and morphology of the porous structure were measured for each sample. The stability of materials was evaluated in vitro by degradation test in phosphate-buffered saline. To improve the bioactivity and biological properties of chitosan scaffold, a biomineralization process was used. Biological characterization was carried out with the aim to prove the effect of biomineralization scaffold on human mesenchymal stem cells behaviour. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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