Masaeli E. - Fabrication, characterization and cellular compatibility of poly(hydroxy alkanoate) composite nanofibrous scaffolds for nerve tissue engineering

Elahe Masaeli, Mohammad Morshed, Mohammad Hossein Nasr-Esfahani, Saeid Sadri, Janneke Hilderink, Aart van Apeldoorn, Clemens A. van Blitterswijk, Lorenzo Moroni

PLOS 2013


Tissue engineering techniques using a combination of polymeric scaffolds and cells represent a promising approach for
nerve regeneration. We fabricated electrospun scaffolds by blending of Poly (3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) and Poly (3-hydroxy
butyrate-co-3- hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) in different compositions in order to investigate their potential for the regeneration
of the myelinic membrane. The thermal properties of the nanofibrous blends was analyzed by differential scanning
calorimetry (DSC), which indicated that the melting and glass temperatures, and crystallization degree of the blends
decreased as the PHBV weight ratio increased. Raman spectroscopy also revealed that the full width at half height of the
band centered at 1725 cm21 can be used to estimate the crystalline degree of the electrospun meshes. Random and
aligned nanofibrous scaffolds were also fabricated by electrospinning of PHB and PHBV with or without type I collagen. The
influence of blend composition, fiber alignment and collagen incorporation on Schwann cell (SCs) organization and
function was investigated. SCs attached and proliferated over all scaffolds formulations up to 14 days. SCs grown on aligned
PHB/PHBV/collagen fibers exhibited a bipolar morphology that oriented along the fiber direction, while SCs grown on the
randomly oriented fibers had a multipolar morphology. Incorporation of collagen within nanofibers increased SCs
proliferation on day 14, GDNF gene expression on day 7 and NGF secretion on day 6. The results of this study demonstrate
that aligned PHB/PHBV electrospun nanofibers could find potential use as scaffolds for nerve tissue engineering
applications and that the presence of type I collagen in the nanofibers improves cell differentiation.