A desirable multi-functional nanofibrous membrane (NFM) for prevention of postoperative tendon adhesion should be endowed with abilities to prevent fibroblast attachment and penetration and exert anti-inflammation effects. To meet this need, hyaluronic acid (HA)/ibuprofen (IBU) (HAI) NFMs were prepared by electrospinning, followed by dual ionic crosslinking with FeCl3
(HAIF NFMs) and covalent crosslinking with 1,4-butanediol diglycidyl ether (BDDE) to produce HAIFB NFMs. It is expected that the multi-functional NFMs will act as a physical barrier to prevent fibroblast penetration, HA will reduce fibroblast attachment and impart a lubrication effect for tendon gliding, while IBU will function as an anti-inflammation drug. For this purpose, we successfully fabricated HAIFB NFMs containing 20% (HAI20FB), 30% (HAI30FB), and 40% (HAI40FB) IBU and characterized their physico-chemical properties by scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy, thermal gravimetric analysis, and mechanical testing. In vitro cell culture studies revealed that all NFMs except HAI40FB possessed excellent effects in preventing fibroblast attachment and penetration while preserving high biocompatibility without influencing cell proliferation. Although showing significant improvement in mechanical properties over other NFMs, the HAI40FB NFM exhibited cytotoxicity towards fibroblasts due to the higher percentage and concentration of IBU released form the membrane. In vivo studies in a rabbit flexor tendon rupture model demonstrated the efficacy of IBU-loaded NFMs (HAI30FB) over Seprafilm®
and NFMs without IBU (HAFB) in reducing local inflammation and preventing tendon adhesion based on gross observation, histological analyses, and biomechanical functional assays. We concluded that an HAI30FB NFM will act as a multi-functional barrier membrane to prevent peritendinous adhesion after tendon surgery.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited