Nerve tissue engineering aims to create scaffolds that promote nerve regeneration in the damaged peripheral nervous system. However, there remain some challenges in the construction of scaffolds in terms of mechanical properties and cellular behaviour. The present work aims to develop multifunctional implantable nanofibrous scaffolds for nerve regeneration. Using electrospinning, nanofibrous neat polycaprolactone (PCL) and PCL/multiwalled carbon nanotubes (PCL-MWCNT) composite scaffolds were prepared in random and aligned morphology. Schwann cells and their secreted biochemical factors are responsible for neuronal survival in the peripheral nervous system. Therefore, the acellular matrix of Schwann cells was spin-coated on the PCL-MWCNT scaffolds to aid nerve regeneration. Physicochemical and mechanical properties, and the in vitro cellular response of the developed nanofibrous were investigated. We observed no significant change in fibre diameter between neat PCL and PCL-MWCNT scaffolds regardless of the morphology. However, the inclusion of MWCNT reduced the mechanical strength of nanocomposite scaffolds compared to neat PCL. In vitro study revealed biocompatibility of the developed scaffolds both with and without an acellular matrix. Gene expression study revealed a significant increase in peripheral myelin protein (PMP22) expression on acellular matrix-coated PCL-MWCNT scaffolds compared to neat PCL counterparts. Overall, the results suggested Schwann cell matrix-coated PCL-MWCNT nanofibers as a promising conduit for peripheral nerve regeneration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Chemistry
- General Chemical Engineering