Electrospun nanofibers are attractive candidates for neural regeneration due to similarity to the extracellular matrix. Several synthetic polymers have been used but they lack in providing the essential biorecognition motifs on their surfaces. Self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffolds (SAPNFs) like RADA16 and recently, designer SAPs with functional motifs RADA16-I-BMHP1 areexamples, which showed successful spinal cord regeneration. But these peptide nanofiber scaffolds have poor mechanical properties and faster degradation rates that limit their use for larger nerve defects. Hence, we have developed a novel hybrid nanofiber scaffold of polymer poly(l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and RADA16-I-BMHP1. The scaffolds were characterized for the presence of peptides both qualitatively and quantitatively using several techniques like SEM, EDX, FTIR, CHN analysis, Circular Dichroism analysis, Confocal and thermal analysis. Peptide self-assembly was retained post-electrospinning and formed rod-like nanostructures on PLGA nanofibers. In vitro cell compatibility was studied using rat Schwann cells and their adhesion, proliferation and gene expression levels on the designed scaffolds were evaluated. Our results have revealed the significant effects of the peptide blended scaffolds on promoting Schwann cell adhesion, extension and phenotypic expression. Neural development markers (SEM3F, NRP2 & PLX1) gene expression levels were significantly upregulated in peptide blended scaffolds compared to the PLGA scaffolds. Thus the hybrid blended novel designer scaffolds seem to be promising candidates for successful and functional regeneration of the peripheral nerve.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering