Polycaprolactone/oligomer compound scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering


Polycaprolactone (PCL), a synthetic biocompatible and biodegradable polymer generally used as a scaffold material for tissue engineering applications. The high stiffness and hydrophobicity of the PCL fiber mesh does not provide significant cell attachment and proliferation in cardiac tissue engineering. Towards this goal, the study focused on a compound of PCL and oligomer hydrogel [Bisphenol A ethoxylated dimethacrylate (BPAEDMA)] processed into electrospun nanofibrous scaffolds. The composition, morphology and mechanical properties of the compound scaffolds, composed of varying ratios of PCL and hydrogel were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, infrared spectroscopy and dynamic mechanical analyzer. The elastic modulus of PCL/BPAEDMA nanofibrous scaffolds was shown to be varying the BPAEDMA weight fraction and was decreased by increasing the BPAEDMA weight fraction. Compound fiber meshes containing 75 wt % BPAEDMA oligomer hydrogel exhibited lower modulus (3.55 MPa) and contact angle of 25o. Rabbit cardiac cells cultured for 10 days on these PCL/BPAEDMA compound nanofibrous scaffolds remained viable and expressed cardiac troponin and alpha-actinin proteins for the normal functioning of myocardium. Cell adhesion and proliferations were significantly increased on compound fiber meshes containing 75 wt % BPAEDMA, when compared with other nanofibrous scaffolds. The results observed that the produced PCL/BPAEDMA compound nanofibrous scaffolds promote cell adhesion, proliferation and normal functioning of cardiac cells to clinically beneficial levels, relevant for cardiac tissue engineering.
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