Bioceramic nanoparticles with high specific surface area often tend to agglomerate in the polymer matrix, which results in undesirable mechanical properties of the composites and poor cell spreading and attachment. In the present work, bredigite (BR) nanoparticles were modified with an organosilane coupling agent, 3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GPTMS), to enhance its dispersibility in the polymer matrix. The polyhydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvaletare (PHBV) nanofibrous scaffolds containing either bredigite or GPTMS-modified bredigite (G-BR) nanoparticles were fabricated using electrospinning technique and characterized using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and tensile strength. Results demonstrated that modification of bredigite was effective in enhancing nanoparticle dispersion in the PHBV matrix. PHBV/G-BR scaffold showed improved mechanical properties compared to PHBV and PHBV/BR, especially at the higher concentration of nanoparticles. In vitro bioactivity assay performed in the simulated body fluid (SBF) indicated that composite PHBV scaffolds were able to induce the formation of apatite deposits after incubation in SBF. From the results of in vitro biological assay, it is concluded that the synergetic effect of BR and GPTMS provided an enhanced hFob cells attachment and proliferation. The developed PHBV/G-BR nanofibrous scaffolds may be considered for application in bone tissue engineering.
Electrospinning is a promising technique for the fabrication of bioscaffolds in tissue engineering applications. Pertaining issues of multiple polymer jets and bending instabilities result in random paths which lend poor controllability over scaffolds morphology for affecting the porosity and mechanical stability. The present study alleviates these challenges by demonstrating a novel self-directing single jet taking a specifically patterned path to deposit fibers into circular and uniform scaffolds without tuning any externally controlled parameters. High-speed camera observation revealed that the charge retention and dissipation on the collected fibers caused rapid autojet switching between the two jetting modes, namely, a microcantilever-like armed jet motion and a whipping motion, which sequentially expand the area and thickness of the scaffolds, respectively, in a layered-like fashion. The physical properties showed that the self-switching dual-jet modes generated multilayered microfibrous scaffolds (MFSs) with dual morphologies and varied fiber packing density, thereby establishing the gradient porosity and mechanical strength (through buckled fibers) in the scaffolds. In vitro studies showed that as-spun scaffolds are cell-permeable hierarchical 3D microporous structures enabling lateral cell seeding into multiple layers. The cell proliferation on days 6 and 9 increased 21% and 38% correspondingly on MFSs than on nanofibrous scaffolds (NFSs) done by conventional multijets electrospinning. Remarkably, this novel and single-step process is highly reproducible and tunable for developing fibrous scaffolds for tissue engineering applications.