Tissue-engineered substitutes have shown great promise as a potential replacement for current tissue grafts to treat tendon/ligament injury. Herein, we have fabricated aligned polycaprolactone (PCL) and gelatin (GT) nanofibers and further evaluated their physicochemical properties and biocompatibility. PCL and GT were mixed at a ratio of 100:0, 70:30, 50:50, 30:70, 0:100, and electrospun to generate aligned nanofibers. The PCL/GT nanofibers were assessed to determine the diameter, alignment, water contact angle, degradation, and surface chemical analysis. The effects on cells were evaluated through Wharton's jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cell (WJ-MSC) viability, alignment and tenogenic differentiation. The PCL/GT nanofibers were aligned and had a mean fiber diameter within 200-800 nm. Increasing the GT concentration reduced the water contact angle of the nanofibers. GT nanofibers alone degraded fastest, observed only within 2 days. Chemical composition analysis confirmed the presence of PCL and GT in the nanofibers. The WJ-MSCs were aligned and remained viable after 7 days with the PCL/GT nanofibers. Additionally, the PCL/GT nanofibers supported tenogenic differentiation of WJ-MSCs. The fabricated PCL/GT nanofibers have a diameter that closely resembles the native tissue's collagen fibrils and have good biocompatibility. Thus, our study demonstrated the suitability of PCL/GT nanofibers for tendon/ligament tissue engineering applications.
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