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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(3), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8030150

Electrospun Zein Fibers Incorporating Poly(glycerol sebacate) for Soft Tissue Engineering

1
Institute of Biomaterials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Cauerstr. 6, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
2
Institute of Polymer Materials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Martensstr. 7, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 January 2018 / Revised: 1 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Fabrication and Application of Nanofibers)
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Abstract

For biomedical applications such as soft tissue engineering, plant proteins are becoming increasingly attractive. Zein, a class of prolamine proteins found in corn, offers excellent properties for application in the human body, but has inferior mechanical properties and lacks aqueous stability. In this study, electrospun scaffolds from neat zein and zein blended with prepolymer and mildly cross-linked poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS) were fabricated. Less toxic solvents like acetic acid and ethanol were used. The morphological, physiochemical and degradation properties of the as-spun fiber mats were determined. Neat zein and zein-PGS fiber mats with high zein concentration (24 wt % and 27 wt %) showed defect-free microstructures. The average fiber diameter decreased with increasing PGS amount from 0.7 ± 0.2 µm to 0.09 ± 0.03 µm. The addition of PGS to zein resulted in a seven-fold increase in ultimate tensile strength and a four-fold increase in failure strain, whereas the Young’s Modulus did not change significantly. Degradation tests in phosphate buffered saline revealed the morphological instability of zein containing fiber mats in contact with aqueous media. Therefore, the fibers were in situ cross-linked with N-(3-Dimethylaminopropyl)-N′-ethylcarbodiimide (EDC)/N-Hydroxysuccinimide (NHS), which led to improved morphological stability in aqueous environment. The novel fibers have suitable properties for application in soft tissue engineering. View Full-Text
Keywords: zein; poly(glycerol sebacate); electrospinning; nano-fibers; soft tissue engineering zein; poly(glycerol sebacate); electrospinning; nano-fibers; soft tissue engineering
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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 (CC BY 4.0).
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Vogt, L.; Liverani, L.; Roether, J.A.; Boccaccini, A.R. Electrospun Zein Fibers Incorporating Poly(glycerol sebacate) for Soft Tissue Engineering. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 150.

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