Ozan Ozkan


2 Fibroblast Compatibility of Core-Shell Coaxially Electrospun Hybrid Poly(ε-Caprolactone)/Chitosan Scaffolds

Authors: Hilal Turkoglu Sasmazel, Ozan Ozkan, Seda Surucu


Tissue engineering is the field of treating defects caused by injuries, trauma or acute/chronic diseases by using artificial scaffolds that mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM), the natural biological support for the tissues and cells within the body. The main aspects of a successful artificial scaffold are (i) large surface area in order to provide multiple anchorage points for cells to attach, (ii) suitable porosity in order to achieve 3 dimensional growth of the cells within the scaffold as well as proper transport of nutrition, biosignals and waste and (iii) physical, chemical and biological compatibility of the material in order to obtain viability throughout the healing process. By hybrid scaffolds where two or more different materials were combined with advanced fabrication techniques into complex structures, it is possible to combine the advantages of individual materials into one single structure while eliminating the disadvantages of each. Adding this to the complex structure provided by advanced fabrication techniques enables obtaining the desired aspects of a successful artificial tissue scaffold. In this study, fibroblast compatibility of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL)/chitosan core-shell electrospun hybrid scaffolds with proper mechanical, chemical and physical properties successfully developed in our previous study was investigated. Standard 7-day cell culture was carried out with L929 fibroblast cell line. The viability of the cells cultured with the scaffolds was monitored with 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) viability assay for every 48 h starting with 24 h after the initial seeding. In this assay, blank commercial tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS) Petri dishes, single electrospun PCL and single electrospun chitosan mats were used as control in order to compare and contrast the performance of the hybrid scaffolds. The adhesion, proliferation, spread and growth of the cells on/within the scaffolds were observed visually on the 3rd and the 7th days of the culture period with confocal laser scanning microscopy (CSLM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The viability assay showed that the hybrid scaffolds caused no toxicity for fibroblast cells and provided a steady increase in cell viability, effectively doubling the cell density for every 48 h for the course of 7 days, as compared to TCPS, single electrospun PCL or chitosan mats. The cell viability on the hybrid scaffold was ~2 fold better compared to TCPS because of its 3D ECM-like structure compared to 2D flat surface of commercially cell compatible TCPS, and the performance was ~2 fold and ~10 fold better compared to single PCL and single chitosan mats, respectively, even though both fabricated similarly with electrospinning as non-woven fibrous structures, because single PCL and chitosan mats were either too hydrophobic or too hydrophilic to maintain cell attachment points. The viability results were verified with visual images obtained with CSLM and SEM, in which cells found to achieve characteristic spindle-like fibroblast shape and spread on the surface as well within the pores successfully at high densities.

Keywords: Electrospinning, chitosan, PCL, core-shell, fibroblast

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1 Dry Modifications of PCL/Chitosan/PCL Tissue Scaffolds

Authors: Hilal Turkoglu Sasmazel, Ozan Ozkan


Natural polymers are widely used in tissue engineering applications, because of their biocompatibility, biodegradability and solubility in the physiological medium. On the other hand, synthetic polymers are also widely utilized in tissue engineering applications, because they carry no risk of infectious diseases and do not cause immune system reaction. However, the disadvantages of both polymer types block their individual usages as tissue scaffolds efficiently. Therefore, the idea of usage of natural and synthetic polymers together as a single 3D hybrid scaffold which has the advantages of both and the disadvantages of none has been entered to the literature. On the other hand, even though these hybrid structures support the cell adhesion and/or proliferation, various surface modification techniques applied to the surfaces of them to create topographical changes on the surfaces and to obtain reactive functional groups required for the immobilization of biomolecules, especially on the surfaces of synthetic polymers in order to improve cell adhesion and proliferation. In a study presented here, to improve the surface functionality and topography of the layer by layer electrospun 3D poly-epsilon-caprolactone/chitosan/poly-epsilon-caprolactone hybrid tissue scaffolds by using atmospheric pressure plasma method, thus to improve cell adhesion and proliferation of these tissue scaffolds were aimed. The formation/creation of the functional hydroxyl and amine groups and topographical changes on the surfaces of scaffolds were realized by using two different atmospheric pressure plasma systems (nozzle type and dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) type) carried out under different gas medium (air, Ar+O2, Ar+N2). The plasma modification time and distance for the nozzle type plasma system as well as the plasma modification time and the gas flow rate for DBD type plasma system were optimized with monitoring the changes in surface hydrophilicity by using contact angle measurements. The topographical and chemical characterizations of these modified biomaterials’ surfaces were carried out with SEM and ESCA, respectively. The results showed that the atmospheric pressure plasma modifications carried out with both nozzle type plasma and DBD plasma caused topographical and functionality changes on the surfaces of the layer by layer electrospun tissue scaffolds. However, the shelf life studies indicated that the hydrophilicity introduced to the surfaces was mainly because of the functionality changes. Therefore, according to the optimized results, samples treated with nozzle type air plasma modification applied for 9 minutes from a distance of 17 cm and Ar+O2 DBD plasma modification applied for 1 minute under 70 cm3/min O2 flow rate were found to have the highest hydrophilicity compared to pristine samples.

Keywords: plasma, Hybrid, Biomaterial, chitosan

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