Journal of biomedical nanotechnology

PCL and PCL-gelatin nanofibers as esophageal tissue scaffolds: optimization, characterization and cell-matrix interactions.

PMID 23980502


Nanofiber based scaffolds offer great promise in regeneration of various tissues including esophagus. Diseases of the esophagus such as malignancy and strictures require surgical intervention to repair the affected region using an appropriate substitute. Long gap esophageal atresia poses a clinical challenge to bridge the gap. In this study, nanofibrous scaffolds made of PCL and PCL-gelatin were fabricated through electrospinning. The average diameter of PCL and PCL-gelatin nanofibers were found to be 324 +/- 50 nm and 242 +/- 30 nm respectively. PCL-gelatin nanofibers was characterized using FTIR, DSC, UTM, Goniometer, suture retention strength and in vitro degradation and the results were compared with the PCL nanofibers. PCL nanofiber characterization results showed that it exhibited higher tensile strength, suture retention strength, contact angle and slower degradation when compared with the PCL-gelatin nanofibers. Further, the interaction of human esophageal epithelial cells with PCL and PCL-gelatin nanofibrous scaffold was determined by cell adhesion, proliferation and gene expression studies. Our results demonstrated that the epithelial cells adhered and proliferated well on both PCL and PCL-gelatin nanofibrous scaffolds and also exhibited the characteristic cobblestone morphology. Cell proliferation on PCL-gelatin nanofibrous scaffold was significantly higher than the PCL nanofibrous scaffold (*p <0.05). Therefore, these scaffolds could be explored as potential candidates for regeneration of functional esophagus.