Investigation of biodegradability and cellular activity of PCL/PLA and PCL/PLLA electrospun webs for tissue engineering applications
Biodegradability and cellular activity are key performance indicators that should be prioritized for tissue engineering applications. Biopolymer selection, determination of necessary structural properties, and their synergistic interactions play an active role in obtaining the expected biodegradability and biological activity from scaffolds. In this study, it is aimed to produce electrospun webs with improved biocompatibility by blending polycaprolactone (PCL) with polylactic acid (PLA) and poly?l?lactide (PLLA), and examine the effect of biopolymer selection and blend ratio on the biodegradability and cellular activity of surfaces. In this context, fibrous webs are produced from PCL/PLA and PCL/PLLA blends with a weight ratio of 80/20 and 50/50 and pure polymers of PCL, PLA, and PLLA by electrospinning method and subjected to morphological and biological analyses. The biodegradation tests are carried out hydrolytically while the cell viability and cell proliferation analyses are performed with adult human primary dermal fibroblasts and human umbilical endothelial cells (HUVECs). The results show that the fiber diameters of the fabricated webs ranged from 0.747 to 1.685??m. At the end of the 5th month, it is observed that the biodegradation rates of the webs blended 50% with PLA and PLLA, in comparison to PCL ones, increase from 3.7% to 13.33% and 7.69%, respectively. On the other hand, cell culture results highlight that the addition of 20% PLA and PLLA improves the cellular activity of both cell types, but increased PLA or PLLA ratio in PCL webs has a negative effect as it makes the structure stiff and brittle.