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Influence of chemistry and fiber diameter of electrospun PLA, PCL and their blend membranes, intended as cell supports, on their biological behavior

The prevalence of osteoarthritis, a degenerative cartilage disease that causes joint surface erosion and loss of mobility, emphasizes the need of producing a functional articular cartilage replacement. Tissue engineering has been the focus of recent research as a possible strategy for cartilage regeneration and repair. The most widely used technique for the manufacture of nanofibers is polymer electrospinning. Polylactic acid (PLA) and polycaprolactone (PCL) have been proved particularly suitable for nanofiber preparation, with many biomedical applications. The main aim of this work was to evaluate the behavior of adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) cultured on biomaterials of PLA, PCL and a combination of both (PLA/PCL), manufactured by electrospinning. We analyzed the bioactive properties of these cells in cultures on them, in terms of proliferation, adhesion, morphology, viability and differentiation. In addition, the influence of the thickness of the fibers in each biomaterial on these cellular characteristics was evaluated for their use in Cartilage Regenerative Medicine applications to promote chondrogenic differentiation. Depending on the parameter assessed, different results were obtained on each biomaterial. Using both polymers successful results on cellular viability were obtained, although in the case of PCL the cellular response in all the experiments was significantly better. As for the blends, positive outcomes were obtained, but they did not overtake the characteristics of PCL. Interestingly, ASCs were able to differentiate into chondrocytes without adding specific chondrogenic media in the three biomaterials tested. Moreover, a marked cell differentiation on PCL with 1.8 ?m-fiber diameter and PLA/PCL blends was observed. These findings may play a key role in cartilage Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering.

Publication date: 01/11/2021

Author: María Herrero-Herrero, Sara Alberdi-Torres, Maria Luisa González-Fernández, Guillermo Vilariño-Feltrer, José Carlos Rodríguez-Hernández, Ana Vallés-Lluch, Vega Villar-Suárez

Polymer Testing


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.