(267g) Engineering Extracellular Matrix Mimetic Materials By Green Electrospinning of Collagen

Authors: 
Almodovar, J., University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez
Castilla, D., University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez
The fabrication of biomimetic scaffolds that replicate the extracellular matrix of tissues has been limited due to the use of toxic solvents in its preparation. Using the electrospinning technique, it is possible to mimic the morphology, nano-scale, geometry and orientation of the extracellular matrix of tissues in the human body. However, typically toxic solvents are used to prepare the polymeric solution used in the electrospinning process, which limits its potential use as a scaffold in biomedical applications. In our work, a collagen nanofibrous scaffold and a composite nanofibrous scaffold of collagen/hydroxyapatite were prepared by electrospinning using a mild solvent. Electron microscopy revealed that it was possible to fabricate an aligned or randomly oriented nanofibrous structure of collagen, with a range of diameters between from 36 to 130 nm. Moreover, the secondary structure of the collagen is preserved after electronspinning as confirmed by FTIR. Hydroxyapatite dispersed into a collagen/acetic acid/water solution was electrospun to yield composite nanofibers. These fibers supports mammalian cell adhesion and growth. Electron microscopy reveals nanofibers with uniform morphology, with an average diameter of 342 nm and a rough surface brought upon by the hydroxyapatite. Both X-ray and infrared spectroscopy confirm the presence of the hydroxyapatite embedded in the collagen fibers. The inclusion of hydroxyapatite does not alter the native collagen structure. Lastly, these composite nanofibers support pre-osteoblast adhesion. These results showed how “green electrospinning” could be used to generate either pure collagen scaffolds or nanocomposite scaffolds with potential biomedical applications.