Scaffolds produced from a combination of materials of different origins, chemical nature and length scales are extensively studied in TERM due to the expected synergistic combination of their respective properties. In particular, electrospinning is often combined with other techniques in order to increase the pore size and interconnectivity between pores sufficiently large to allow cell infiltration in electrospun nanofiber mats. We produced and characterized membranes composed of alternating layers of the synthetic polyester polycaprolactone (PCL) and the natu- ral polysaccharide chitosan (CS). The PCL layers consist of microfibers obtained by electrospinning and CS layers are made by scattering grains of CS over the PCL fibers. By this process, membranes with dif- ferent PCL/CS ratios (from 1:0 to 1:1) as well as with different CS grain sizes (below 100 lm, from 100 to 200 lm and from 200 to 300 lm) were produced. The membranes were subjected to mechanical testing, contact angle measurement and determination of their porosity. Cell culture tests were carried out with epithelial cells MCF7-GFP. The results showed that the membranes have mechanical properties that allow their easy handling, with a low elastic modulus and tensile stress and a high elongation at break. All membranes exhi- bit high porosity and a hydrophobicity similar to that displayed by PCL. Cell adhesion, proliferation and infiltration was observed and con- firmed using confocal and phase contrast microscopy.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2012|