PCL Surface Modification

Project Description:

Polycaprolactone (PCL) is gaining popularity in the field of tissue engineering due to its non-toxic degradation byproducts and low-cost manufacturing method. It is also a markedly hydrophobic material, leading to suboptimal cell-material interactions. Our study aims to chemically modify electrospun PCL fibers to promote cell attachment, proliferation and extra cellular matrix (ECM) formation. Our research examines a two-step modification technique to chemically and physically modify the surface of PCL to increase cell-material interaction and surface roughness respectively. The first step utilizes sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to increase surface roughness with improved cell-material interactions due to the carboxyl groups produced when NaOH hydrolyzes ester bonds of PCL. Second step is to immobilize a common peptide sequence that is present in ECM of fibroblast cell by covalently attaching it to the PCL surface. Changes in the PCL fiber surface topography, hydrophilicity and chemistry will be evaluated using atomic force microscopy (AFM), contact angle measurement, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and infrared spectroscopy (IR) respectively. Human periodontal ligament fibroblast (HPDLF) cells will be seeded on the PCL fibers and their growth and proliferation will be characterized using confocal microscopy, DAPI (4′, 6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) staining, AlamarBlue® assay and live/dead viability assay. Our preliminary results have shown decreased contact angle and increased surface roughness with NaOH-treated PCL fibers. Ongoing study is focused on the RGD modification and cellular response to the NaOH and RGD treated fibers as compared to untreated controls. We anticipate increased fibroblast adhesion, proliferation and matrix formation on the treated PCL fibers. The results will have important implications for the use of PCL fibers as scaffold materials in regenerating a variety of tissues.


Fibroblast cells on PCL control fiber at 2 week time point

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