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Title: Incorporating nanoconfined chitin ‐ fibrils in poly (ε‐caprolactone) membrane scaffolds improves mechanical and chemical properties for biomedical application

Engineered composite scaffolds composed of natural and synthetic polymers exhibit cooperation at the molecular level that closely mimics tissue extracellular matrix's (ECM) physical and chemical characteristics. However, due to the lack of smooth intermix capability of natural and synthetic materials in the solution phase, bio‐inspired composite material development has been quite challenged. In this research, we introduced new bio‐inspired material blending techniques to fabricate nanofibrous composite scaffolds of chitin nanofibrils (CNF), a natural hydrophilic biomaterial and poly (ɛ‐caprolactone) (PCL), a synthetic hydrophobic‐biopolymer. CNF was first prepared by acid hydrolysis technique and dispersed in trifluoroethanol (TFE); and second, PCL was dissolved in TFE and mixed with the chitin solution in different ratios. Electrospinning and spin‐coating technology were used to form nanofibrous mesh and films, respectively. Physicochemical properties, such as mechanical strength, and cellular compatibility, and structural parameters, such as morphology, and crystallinity, were determined. Toward the potential use of this composite materials as a support membrane in blood–brain barrier application (BBB), human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were cultured, and transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) was measured. Experimental results of the composite materials with PCL/CNF ratios from 100/00 to 25/75 showed good uniformity in fiber morphology and suitable mechanical properties. They retained the excellent ECM‐like properties that mimic synthetic‐bio‐interface that has potential application in biomedical fields, particularly tissue engineering and BBB applications.

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Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 1185-1199
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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