A biocompatible porous scaffold obtained via electrospinning a nanocomposite solution of poly(l-lactic acid) and 4-methoxyphenyl functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes is presented here for the first time for the enhancement of neurite outgrowth. Optimization of blend preparation and deposition parameters paves the way to the obtainment of defect-free random networks of nanofibers with homogeneous diameters in the hundreds of nanometers length scale. The tailored covalent functionalization of nanotube surfaces allows a homogeneous dispersion of the nanofillers within the polymer matrix, diminishing their natural tendency to aggregate and form bundles. This results in a remarkable effect on the crystallization temperature, as evidenced through differential scanning calorimetry. Furthermore, transmission electron microscopy shows carbon nanotubes anisotropically aligned along the fiber axes, a feature believed to enhance neurite adhesion and growth. Indeed, microscopy images show neurites extension along the direction of nanofibers, highlighting the extreme relevance of scaffold morphology in engineering complex tissue environments. Furthermore, a remarkable effect on increasing the neurite outgrowth results when using the fibrous scaffold containing dispersed carbon nanotubes in comparison with an analogous one made of only polymer, providing further evidence of the key role played by carbon nanostructures in inducing neuronal differentiation.

Covalent functionalization enables good dispersion and anisotropic orientation of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in a poly(l-lactic acid) electrospun nanofibrous matrix boosting neuronal differentiation

VICENTINI, NICOLA;GATTI, TERESA;SALICE, PATRIZIO;SCAPIN, GIORGIA;MAREGA, CARLA;FILIPPINI, FRANCESCO;MENNA, ENZO
2015

Abstract

A biocompatible porous scaffold obtained via electrospinning a nanocomposite solution of poly(l-lactic acid) and 4-methoxyphenyl functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes is presented here for the first time for the enhancement of neurite outgrowth. Optimization of blend preparation and deposition parameters paves the way to the obtainment of defect-free random networks of nanofibers with homogeneous diameters in the hundreds of nanometers length scale. The tailored covalent functionalization of nanotube surfaces allows a homogeneous dispersion of the nanofillers within the polymer matrix, diminishing their natural tendency to aggregate and form bundles. This results in a remarkable effect on the crystallization temperature, as evidenced through differential scanning calorimetry. Furthermore, transmission electron microscopy shows carbon nanotubes anisotropically aligned along the fiber axes, a feature believed to enhance neurite adhesion and growth. Indeed, microscopy images show neurites extension along the direction of nanofibers, highlighting the extreme relevance of scaffold morphology in engineering complex tissue environments. Furthermore, a remarkable effect on increasing the neurite outgrowth results when using the fibrous scaffold containing dispersed carbon nanotubes in comparison with an analogous one made of only polymer, providing further evidence of the key role played by carbon nanostructures in inducing neuronal differentiation.
2015
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3183312
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