Characterization of Silk/Poly 3-Hydroxybutyrate-chitosan-multi-walled Carbon Nanotube Micro-nano Scaffold: A New Hybrid Scaffold for Tissue Engineering Applications

Mohammad Hussein Mirmusavi, Saeed* Karbasi, Dariush Semnani, Anousheh Zargar Kharazi


Long-term healing tissue engineering scaffolds must hold its full mechanical strength at least for
12 weeks. Nano-micro scaffolds consist of electrospinning nanofibers and textile microfibers
to support cell behavior and mechanical strength, respectively. The new nano-micro hybrid
scaffold was fabricated by electrospinning poly 3-hydroxybutyrate-chitosan-multi-walled carbon
nanotube (MWNT functionalized by COOH) solution on knitted silk in a random manner with
different amounts of MWNT. The physical, mechanical, and biodegradation properties were assessed
through scanning electron microscopy, Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, water contact
angle test, tensile strength test, and weight loss test. The scaffold without MWNT was chosen as
control sample. An increase in the amount of MWNT up to 1 wt% leads to better fiber diameter
distribution, more hydrophilicity, biodegradation rate, and higher tensile strength in comparison
with other samples. The porosity percentage of all scaffolds is more than 80%. According to FTIR
spectra, the nanofibrous coat on knitted silk did not have any effect on silk fibroin crystallinity
structures, and according to tensile strength test, the coat had a significant effect on tensile strength
in comparison with pure knitted silk (P ≤ 0.05). The average fiber diameter decreased due to an
increase in electrical conductivity of the solution and fiber stretch in electrical field due to MWNTs.
The scaffold containing 1 wt% MWNT was more hydrophilic due to the presence of many COOH
groups of functionalized MWNT, thus an increase in the hydrolysis and degradation rate of this
sample. High intrinsic tensile strength of MWNTs and improvement of nano-micro interface
connection lead to an increase in tensile strength in scaffolds containing MWNT.


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