Biocompatible PCL-nanofibers scaffold with immobilized fibronectin and laminin for neuronal tissue regeneration

Funding Sponsor

American University in Cairo

Author's Department

Nanotechnology Program

Third Author's Department

Physics Department

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Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Materials Science and Engineering C

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Recent advances in regenerative medicine have given hope in overcoming and rehabilitating complex medical conditions. In this regard, the biopolymer poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) may be a promising candidate for tissue regeneration, despite lacking the essential bioactivity. The present study used PCL nanofibers (NFs) scaffold decorated with the extracellular matrix proteins fibronectin and laminin combined for neuronal regeneration. The potential for the dual proteins to support neuronal cells and promote axonal growth was investigated. Two NFs scaffolds were produced with PLC concentrations of 12% or 15%. Under scanning electron microscopy, both scaffolds evidenced uniform diameter distribution in the range of 358 nm and 887 nm, respectively, with >80% porosity. The Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) test confirmed that the fabricated NFs mats had a high surface area, especially for the 12% NFs with 652 m2/g compared to 254 m2/g for the 15% NFs. The proteins of interest were successfully conjugated to the 12% PCL scaffold through chemical carbodiimide reaction as confirmed by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. The addition of fibronectin and laminin together was shown to be the most favorable for cellular attachment and elongation of neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells compared to other formulations. Light microscopy revealed longer neurite outgrowth, higher cellular projected area, and lower shape index for the cells cultured on the combined proteins conjugated fibers, indicating enhanced cellular spread on the scaffold. This preliminary study suggests that PCL nanoscaffolding conjugated with matrix proteins can support neuronal cell viability and neurite growth.

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