Collagen-Blended Biodegradable Polymer Nanofibers: Potential Substrates for Wound Healing in Skin Tissue Engineering

K. Ma, T. Yong, K.C. Chan, and S. Ramakrishna (Singapore)


Collagen-blended PLGA nanofibres, electrospinning


Due to the limited area of normal skin, immune rejection and high expenses, no wound dressings could completely satisfy clinical demands for extensive burns and large open wounds. An alternative to skin engraftment is to the development of engineering skin constructs to facilitate wound healing, which include a scaffold, support cells, growth factors and extracellular matrix (ECM). In this study we fabricated and optimized collagen-blended PLGA nanofibers by electrospinning techniques. Both Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) micrographs verify the nanometer scale and smooth morphology of the blended nanofibers, revealed that 8% is the best concentration for preparing the polymer solution. Attenuated Total Reflectance - Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR) demonstrates that blended nanofibers are a mixture of PLGA and collagen. Mechanical tests of their tensile properties show the ultimate strain value and tensile modulus of blended nanofibers are comparable to those of human skin. Contact Angle Assessment shows their decreased hydrophobicity compared with pure PLGA nanofibers and suggests the improved capability for cell attachment. Therefore, this new type of blended nanofiber substrate holds a great potential to facilitate wound healing in skin tissue engineering by being loaded with necessary growth factors and ECM molecules on it.

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