In vitro and in vivo evaluation of electrospun nanofibers of PCL, chitosan and gelatin: A comparative study

S. R. Gomes, G. Rodrigues, G. G. Martins, M. A. Roberto, M. Mafra, C. M R Henriques, Jorge Alexandre Monteiro de Carvalho Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

206 Citations (Scopus)


Many polymers have been investigated with respect to their use in skin tissue engineering. However, directly comparable data on the role played by different polymers in assisting skin wound healing requires their in vitro and in vivo evaluation under the same conditions. Therefore, we performed a study in order to compare the performance of electrospun nanofiber mats from three different polymers concerning cell-scaffold interaction and wound healing promotion. A polyester (polycaprolactone, PCL), a protein (gelatin from cold water fish skin, GEL) and a polysaccharide (chitosan, CS) were the polymers chosen. Gelatin nanofibers were crosslinked with glutaraldehyde vapor. The scaffolds were characterized physico-chemically, in vitro by seeding with human fetal fibroblasts, HFFF2, and used in vivo as skin substitutes in a rat wound model with total skin removal. In vitro tests revealed that cells adhered and proliferated in all scaffolds. However, cells deep into the scaffold were only observed in the PCL and CS scaffolds. In in vivo tests CS scaffolds had the highest impact on the healing process by decreasing the extent of wound contraction and enhancing the production of a neodermis and re-epithelialization of the wound.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-358
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Chitosan
  • Electrospinning
  • Fibroblasts Skin substitute
  • Fish gelatin
  • Polycaprolactone
  • Wound healing


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