Poly(ε-caprolactone)/keratin-based composite nanofibers for biomedical applications

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part B, Applied Biomaterials
Angela EdwardsNarayan Bhattarai

Abstract

Keratin-based composite nanofibers have been fabricated by an electrospinning technique. Aqueous soluble keratin extracted from human hair was successfully blended with poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) in different ratios and transformed into nanofibrous membranes. Toward the potential use of this nanofibrous membrane in tissue engineering, its physicochemical properties, such as morphology, mechanical strength, crystallinity, chemical structure, and integrity in aqueous medium were studied and its cellular compatibility was determined. Nanofibrous membranes with PCL/keratin ratios from 100/00 to 70/30 showed good uniformity in fiber morphology and suitable mechanical properties, and retained the integrity of their fibrous structure in buffered solutions. Experimental results, using cell viability assays and scanning electron microscopy imaging, showed that the nanofibrous membranes supported 3T3 cell viability. The ability to produce blended nanofibers from protein and synthetic polymers represents a significant advancement in development of composite materials with structural and material properties that will support biomedical applications. This provides new nanofibrous materials for applications in tissue engineering and regenera...Continue Reading

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