Development of novel aligned nanofibrous composite membranes for guided bone regeneration
The ability to mimic the structure of the natural extracellular matrix is a successful key for guided bone regeneration (GBR). For the regeneration of highly organized structures such as heart and bone, aligned fibrousmembranes could provide anisotropicmechanical and biological properties which are adequate topographic guidance to cells. Here, novel nanofibrous membranes were developed through electrospinning of PCL-forsterite nanopowder. The membranes were characterized with regard to structural and mechanical properties, degradation, bioactivity and cellular interactive responses. Results showed that optimized nanofibrous composite membrane with significantly improved tensile strength and elastic modules was achieved through addition of 10 wt% forsterite nanopowder into PCL membrane. Addition of forsterite nanopowder decreased the average fiber diameters from 8727361 nm (pure PCL membrane) to 258 nm (PCL-10 wt% forsterite membrane). At higher forsterite contents (410 wt%), the agglomeration of nanoparticles was observed which resulted in reduced mechanical properties. Aligned fibrous membranes revealed smaller fiber sizes and significantly enhanced and anisotropic mechanical properties compared to random ones suggesting that fiber alignment has a profound effect on the structural properties of membranes. Forsterite nanopowder increased the degradation rate showing enhanced hydrophilicity and induced apatite formation in simulated body fluid. Furthermore, composite nanofibrous membranes possessed significantly improved cellular responses in terms of attachment, proliferation and mineralization of pre-osteoblasts compared to PCL membrane. Thus, the currently developed nanofibrous composite membranes embedded in forsterite nanopowder expected to be attractive in GBR membrane applications.