Fabrication of shish-kebab-structured carbon nanotube/poly(ε-caprolactone) composite nanofibers for potential tissue engineering applications
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The electrospinning process was applied to fabricate the nanofibers of biodegradable poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) in which different contents of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were embedded. Afterward, the electrospun nanofibers were successfully decorated with shish-kebab structure via a self-induced crystallization technique. The topographical features and the mechanical properties of the composite scaffolds were characterized, and the biocompatibility of the material was assessed by using human osteogenic sarcoma osteoblasts (MG-63 cells). The carbon nanotube (CNT) concentration is found to affect the fiber diameter and mechanical properties of electrospun nanofibers and the periodic distance of the shish-kebab architecture. Cellular attachment and proliferation assays reveal that 0.5 wt% CNT-embedded PCL scaffold shows enhanced biocompatibility with MG-63 cells than their counterparts made of neat PCL, and the collagen-like nanotopology provided by the shish-kebab structure further facilitates the cell adhesion and proliferation. The superior interactions between cells and scaffolds demonstrate that the shish-kebab-structured CNTs/PCL nanofibers may be promising candidate for tissue engineering scaffold application.
KeywordsCarbon nanotubes Poly(ε-caprolactone) Electrospinning Shish-kebab structure Tissue engineering
This work was financially supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 22A201514030), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2015M571504), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51503065 and 51273065) and the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery in University of Wisconsin-Madison and China Scholarship Council.
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