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Effect of Functionalization of the Polycaprolactone Film Surface on the Mechanical and Biological Properties of the Film Itself

The lack of suitable functional groups for cell adhesion on the surface of Polycaprolactone (PCL) is one of the main limitations in order to use PCL for biomedical applications. The aim of this research is to modify the PCL film surface using arginine, via an aminolysis reaction. In this regard, after PCL films formation by casting method, they were immersed in arginine solutions of various concentration at room temperature or then heated to 40 °C and in the presence of isopropanol or without it. To assess the structure of the modified surface, its wettability, and mechanical properties, methods of measuring the contact angle and the strip tensile test were used, and to compare the degree of attachment and the rate of cell proliferation, the method of fluorescent staining of cultured cells was used. The change in protein synthesis by cells on the modified surface was assessed using Western blotting. The results obtained show that the treatment of PCL films with an aqueous solution of arginine at room temperature for 1 day increases the hydrophilicity of the surface. Wherein surface modification led to a two-fold decrease of mechanical strength and flow stress, but elongation increase by about 30% for PCL films after modification in 0.5 M aqueous arginine solution at room temperature. Moreover, cell attachment and proliferation, as well as collagen synthesis, were significantly enhanced after arginine modification. The proposed simple and effective method for modifying PCL films with arginine significantly expands the possibilities for developing biocompatible scaffolds for tissue engineering.

Publication date: 01/11/2022

Author: Yuliya Nashchekina

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14214654

MDPI (polymers)


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