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Enhancing structural strength and improving cell survival through Polycaprolactone/(gelatin/hydroxyapatite) Core?Shell nanofibers for tissue engineering

Bone tissue engineering is a practical approach to repairing broken or damaged bones that combines scaffold, cells, and growth factors for treatment. In this study, polycaprolactone (PCL)/gelatin (Ge)/hydroxyapatite (HA) core?shell nanocomposites have been produced by the coaxial electrospinning method. Coaxial electrospinning is an efficient method for scaffold preparation to provide an interconnected porous fibrous scaffold. The prepared nanocomposite simultaneously benefited from the good mechanical behavior of the core PCL polymer. The desired biological properties also originated from the outer layer of the Ge/HA nanocomposite. Nanofibrous scaffolds' properties were characterized using SEM, TEM, FTIR, TGA, DSC, tensile test, contact angle, and MTT assay. The morphology of the as?electrospun nanofibers was investigated using SEM and TEM, which revealed a defect?less fibrous morphology. TEM images showed the core?shell structure of the prepared scaffold nanofibers. The contact angle test showed that the presence of HA nanoparticles has improved the wettability of fibrous composites. In addition, HA nanoparticles could effectively strengthen the polymer scaffolds. The highest UTS value of 4.1 MPa was obtained in the PCL/(Ge+10%HA) sample. The cytotoxicity results revealed that the prepared scaffolds were utterly biocompatible. Moreover, significant cell proliferation of osteosarcoma cells was observed at high HA contents. The interconnected pores allowed cells to migrate into the scaffolds and grow inside. Based on the obtained results, PCL/(Ge/ HA) core?shell nanofibers could be a promising candidate for bone scaffolds.

Publication date: 22/06/2022

Polymer Composites


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