Journal of biomedical nanotechnology

Bi-layer scaffold of chitosan/PCL-nanofibrous mat and PLLA-microporous disc for skin tissue engineering.

PMID 24749404


Current treatments for severe skin damage involve the grafting of extremely limited autogenic skin or the use of synthetic skin grafts that do not fully recapitulate the biological properties of native skin. In this study we developed a novel bi-layer scaffold that provides the microenvironmental cues favorable to promoting skin healing and regeneration. The scaffold is composed of a superficial chitosan/PCL nanofibrous mat (CP-nano mat) and an underlying PLLA microporous disc (PLLA-micro disc). The porous structure of the scaffold permits the interaction of biomolecules released from two types of cells distributed, respectively, throughout the two layers of the scaffold, but the nanofibers prevent the direct intermingling of the cell types. The CP-nano mat and PLLA-micro disc were fabricated by electrospinning and thermally induced phase separation, respectively, and host keratinoctyes as an epidermal equivalent and fibroblasts as a dermal equivalent, respectively, present in the native skin. The potential of this bi-layer scaffold to serve as a skin equivalent was evaluated by co-culture of keratinocytes and fibroblasts and subsequent assessment of cell proliferation, cell morphology, gene transcription, and protein expression. The cell proliferation was found to be greatest in co-culture on bi-layer scaffolds. The gene and protein expression analyses further confirmed that the bi-layer scaffold provided a micro-environment similar to those present in the native extracellular matrix during initial wound healing. Our study suggested that the bi-layer scaffold has great potential to serve as a skin equivalent in tissue engineering.