Nano Research

, Volume 10, Issue 10, pp 3358–3376 | Cite as

Electrospun poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene)/zinc oxide nanocomposite tissue engineering scaffolds with enhanced cell adhesion and blood vessel formation

  • Robin Augustine
  • Pan Dan
  • Alejandro Sosnik
  • Nandakumar Kalarikkal
  • Nguyen Tran
  • Brice Vincent
  • Sabu Thomas
  • Patrick Menu
  • Didier Rouxel
Research Article


Piezoelectric materials that generate electrical signals in response to mechanical strain can be used in tissue engineering to stimulate cell proliferation. Poly (vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) (P(VDF-TrFE)), a piezoelectric polymer, is widely used in biomaterial applications. We hypothesized that incorporation of zinc oxide (ZnO )nanoparticles into the P(VDF-TrFE) matrix could promote adhesion, migration, and proliferation of cells, as well as blood vessel formation (angiogenesis). In this study, we fabricated and comprehensively characterized a novel electrospun P(VDF-TrFE)/ZnO nanocomposite tissue engineering scaffold. We analyzed the morphological features of the polymeric matrix by scanning electron microscopy, and utilized Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and differential scanning calorimetry to examine changes in the crystalline phases of the copolymer due to addition of the nanoparticles. We detected no or minimal adverse effects of the biomaterials with regard to blood compatibility in vitro, biocompatibility, and cytotoxicity, indicating that P(VDF-TrFE)/ZnO nanocomposite scaffolds are suitable for tissue engineering applications. Interestingly, human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells cultured on the nanocomposite scaffolds exhibited higher cell viability, adhesion, and proliferation compared to cells cultured on tissue culture plates or neat P(VDF-TrFE) scaffolds. Nanocomposite scaffolds implanted into rats with or without hMSCs did not elicit immunological responses, as assessed by macroscopic analysis and histology. Importantly, nanocomposite scaffolds promoted angiogenesis, which was increased in scaffolds pre-seeded with hMSCs. Overall, our results highlight the potential of these novel P(VDF-TrFE)/ZnO nanocomposites for use in tissue engineering, due to their biocompatibility and ability to promote cell adhesion and angiogenesis.


scaffolds electrospinning poly(vinylidene fluoridetrifluoroethylene) (P(VDFTrFE)) ZnO angiogenesis cell adhesion stem cells 


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The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of Nancy-Brabois Institute of Technologies, Lorraine University, Nancy, France. The authors also acknowledge the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, New Delhi, for the financial support through MSUB IPLSARE Program (No. BT/PR4800/INF/22/152/2012). R. A. thanks the Israel Council for Higher Education for postdoctoral fellowship. P. D. thanks the China scholarship council for overseas fellowship.

Supplementary material

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Electrospun poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene)/zinc oxide nanocomposite tissue engineering scaffolds with enhanced cell adhesion and blood vessel formation


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin Augustine
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pan Dan
    • 3
  • Alejandro Sosnik
    • 1
  • Nandakumar Kalarikkal
    • 2
    • 4
  • Nguyen Tran
    • 5
  • Brice Vincent
    • 6
  • Sabu Thomas
    • 2
    • 7
  • Patrick Menu
    • 3
  • Didier Rouxel
    • 6
  1. 1.Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Nanomaterials Science, Department of Materials Science and EngineeringTechnion-Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.International and Inter University Centre for Nanoscience and NanotechnologyMahatma Gandhi UniversityKottayamIndia
  3. 3.Ingénierie Moléculaire et Physiopathologie ArticulaireUMR 7365 CNRS-Université de LorraineVandoeuvre-lès NancyFrance
  4. 4.School of Pure and Applied PhysicsMahatma Gandhi UniversityKottayamIndia
  5. 5.School of Surgery, Faculty of MedicineUniversité de LorraineVandoeuvre-lès-NancyFrance
  6. 6.Institut Jean LamourUMR 7198 CNRS-Université de LorraineVandoeuvre-lès-NancyFrance
  7. 7.School of Chemical SciencesMahatma Gandhi UniversityKottayamIndia

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