Technological watch

Electrospun Poly(lactic acid) and Silk Fibroin Based Nanofibrous Scaffold for Meniscus Tissue Engineering

Biopolymer based scaffolds are commonly considered as suitable materials for medical application. Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is one of the most popular polymers that has been used as a bioscaffold, but it has poor cell adhesion and slowly degrades in an in vitro environment. In this study, silk fibroin (SF) was selected to improve cell adhesion and degradability of electrospun PLA. In order to fabricate a PLA/SF scaffold that offered both biological and mechanical properties, related parameters such as solution viscosity and SF content were studied. By varying the concentration and molecular weight of PLA, the solution viscosity significantly changed. The effect of solution viscosity on the fiber forming ability and fiber morphology was elucidated. In addition, commercial (l-lactide, d-lactide PLA) and medical grade PLA (pure PLLA) were both investigated. Mechanical properties, thermal properties, biodegradability, wettability, cell viability, and gene expression of electrospun PLA and PLA/SF based nanofibrous scaffolds were examined. The results demonstrated that medical grade PLA electrospun scaffolds offered superior mechanical property, degradability, and cellular induction for meniscus tissue regeneration. However, for commercial non-medical grade PLA used in this study, it was not recommended to be used for medical application because of its toxicity. With the addition of SF in PLA based scaffolds, the in vitro degradability and hydrophilicity were improved. PLAmed50:SF50 scaffold has the potential to be used as biomimetic meniscus scaffold for scaffold augmented suture based on mechanical properties, cell viability, gene expression, surface wettability, and in vitro degradation.

Publication date: 16/06/2022

Author: Siripanyo Promnil

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14122435

MDPI (polymers)


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