Cellulose nanocrystal effect on crystallization kinetics and biological properties of electrospun polycaprolactone

Ahmad Hivechi, S. Hajir Bahrami, Ronald A. Siegel, Allison Siehr, Anasuya Sahoo, Peiman Brouki Milan, Mohammad Taghi Joghataei, Moein Amoupour, Sara Simorgh

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25 Scopus citations


Mechanical properties of tissue engineering nanofibrous scaffolds are of importance because they not only determine their ease of application, but also influence the environment for cell growth and proliferation. Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are natural renewable nanoparticles that have been widely used for manipulating nanofibers' mechanical properties. In this article, cellulose nanoparticles were incorporated into poly(caprolactone) (PCL) solution, and composite nanofibers were produced. Ozawa-Flynn-Wall (OFW) methodology and X-ray diffraction were used to investigate the effect of CNC incorporation on PCL crystalline structure and its biological properties. Results showed that CNC incorporation up to 1% increases the crystallization activation energy and reduces the crystal volume, while these factors remain constant above this critical concentration. MTT assay and microscopic images of seeded cells on the nanofiber scaffolds indicated increased cell growth on the samples containing CNC. This behavior could be attributed to their greater hydrophilicity, which was confirmed using parallel exponential kinetics (PEK) model fitting to results obtained from dynamic vapor sorption (DVS) studies. Superior performance of CNC containing samples was also confirmed by in vivo implantation on full-thickness wounds. The wound area faded away more rapidly in these samples. H&E and Masson's trichrome staining showed better regeneration and more developed tissues in wounds treated with PCL-CNC1% nanofibers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111855
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

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  • Cellulose nanocrystal
  • Electrospinning
  • Tissue engineering
  • Wound dressing


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