Previous studies have shown that electrical charges influence cell behavior (e.g. enhancement of nerve regeneration, cell adhesion, cell morphology). Thus, piezoelectric scaffolds might be useful for various tissue engineering applications. Fibrous scaffolds were successfully fabricated from permanent piezoelectric poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) (PVDF-TrFE) by the electrospinning technique. Scanning electron microscopy and capillary flow analyses verified that the fiber mats had an average fiber diameter of 970 ±480 nm and a mean pore diameter of 1.7 μm, respectively. Thermally stimulated depolarization current spectroscopy measurements confirmed the piezoelectric property of the PVDF-TrFE fibrous scaffolds by the generation of a spontaneous current with the increase in temperature in the absence of an electric field, which was not detected in the unprocessed PVDF-TrFE powder. Differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy results showed that the electrospinning process increased the crystallinity and presence of the polar, beta-phase crystal compared with the unprocessed powder. Confocal fluorescence microscopy and a cell proliferation assay demonstrated spreading and increased cell numbers (human skin fibroblasts) over time on PVDF-TrFE scaffolds, which was comparable with tissue culture polystyrene. The relative quantity of gene expression for focal adhesion proteins (measured by real-time RT-PCR) increased in the following order: paxillin < vinculin < focal adhesion kinase < talin. However, no differences could be seen among the TCPS surface and the fibrous scaffolds. Future studies will focus on possible applications of these cytocompatible PVDF-TrFE scaffolds in the field of regenerative medicine.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Molecular Biology
- Tissue engineering