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Core-shell PLA/Kef hybrid scaffolds for skin tissue engineering applications prepared by direct kefiran coating on PLA electrospun fibers optimized via air-plasma treatment

  • Autori: Lopresti F.; Campora S.; Tirri G.; Capuana E.; Carfi Pavia F.; Brucato V.; Ghersi G.; La Carrubba V.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2021
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
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Over the recent years, there is a growing interest in electrospun hybrid scaffolds composed of synthetic and natural polymers that can support cell attachment and proliferation. In this work, the physical and biological properties of polylactic acid (PLA) electrospun mats coated with kefiran (Kef) were evaluated. Gravimetric, spectroscopic (FTIR-ATR) and morphological investigations via scanning electron microscopy confirmed the effective formation of a thin kefiran layer wrapped on the PLA fibers with an easy-tunable thickness. Air plasma pre-treatment carried out on PLA (P-PLA) affected both the morphology and the crystallinity of Kef coating as confirmed by differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction analyses. Scaffolds were mechanically characterized with tensile tests to evaluate the reinforcing action of the Kef coating. The water resistance of Kefiran coating in distilled water at 37 °C evaluated on both PLA/Kef and P-PLA/Kef was carried out by gravimetric and morphological analyses. Finally, cell culture assays with embryonic fibroblast cells were conducted on selected hybrid scaffolds to compare the cell proliferation, morphology, and collagen production with PLA and P-PLA electrospun scaffolds. Based on the results, we can demonstrate that direct coating of PLA from Kef/water solutions is an effective approach to prepare hybrid scaffolds with tunable properties and that the plasma pre-treatment enhances the affinity between PLA and Kefiran. In vitro tests demonstrated the great potential of PLA/Kef hybrid scaffolds for skin tissue engineering.