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J. Funct. Biomater. 2018, 9(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb9020027

Short-Term Degradation of Bi-Component Electrospun Fibers: Qualitative and Quantitative Evaluations via AFM Analysis

Institute for Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials, National Research Council of Italy, 80125 Naples, Italy
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Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 28 February 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 30 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Journal of Functional Biomaterials: Feature Papers 2016)
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Abstract

Electrospun polymeric fibers are currently used as 3D models for in vitro applications in biomedical areas, i.e., tissue engineering, cell and drug delivery. The high customization of the electrospinning process offers numerous opportunities to manipulate and control surface area, fiber diameter, and fiber density to evaluate the response of cells under different morphological and/or biochemical stimuli. The aim of this study was to investigate—via atomic force microscopy (AFM)—the chemical and morphological changes in bi-component electrospun fibers (BEFs) during the in vitro degradation process using a biological medium. BEFs were fabricated by electrospinning a mixture of synthetic-polycaprolactone (PCL)-and natural polymers (gelatin) into a binary solution. During the hydrolytic degradation of protein, no significant remarkable effects were recognized in terms of fiber integrity. However, increases in surface roughness as well as a decrease in fiber diameter as a function of the degradation conditions were detected. We suggest that morphological and chemical changes due to the local release of gelatin positively influence cell behavior in culture, in terms of cell adhesion and spreading, thus working to mimic the native microenvironment of natural tissues. View Full-Text
Keywords: atomic force microscopy (AFM); roughness; force spectroscopy; bi-component electrospun fibers; in vitro degradation studies atomic force microscopy (AFM); roughness; force spectroscopy; bi-component electrospun fibers; in vitro degradation studies
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Marrese, M.; Cirillo, V.; Guarino, V.; Ambrosio, L. Short-Term Degradation of Bi-Component Electrospun Fibers: Qualitative and Quantitative Evaluations via AFM Analysis. J. Funct. Biomater. 2018, 9, 27.

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