Electrospun pectin-polyhydroxybutyrate nanofibers for retinal tissue engineering

Siew Yin Chan, Benjamin Qi Yu Chan, Zengping Liu, Bhav Harshad Parikh, Kangyi Zhang, Qianyu Lin, Xinyi Su, Dan Kai, Wee Sim Choo, David James Young, Xian Jun Oh

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Natural polysaccharide pectin has for the first time been grafted with polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) via ring-opening polymerization of β-butyrolactone. This copolymer, pectin-polyhydroxybutyrate (pec-PHB), was blended with PHB in various proportions and electrospun to produce nanofibers that exhibited uniform and beadfree nanostructures, suggesting the miscibility of PHB and pec-PHB. These nanofiber blends exhibited reduced fiber diameters from 499 to 336'426 nm and water contact angles from 123.8 to 88.2 on incorporation of pec-PHB. They also displayed 39'335% enhancement of elongation at break relative to pristine PHB nanofibers. pec-PHB nanofibers were found to be noncytotoxic and biocompatible. Human retinal pigmented epithelium (ARPE-19) cells were seeded onto pristine PHB and pec-PHB nanofibers as scaffold and showed good proliferation. Higher proportions of pec-PHB (pec-PHB10 and pec-PHB20) yielded higher densities of cells with similar characteristics to normal RPE cells. We propose, therefore, that nanofibers of pec-PHB have significant potential as retinal tissue engineering scaffold materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8959-8968
Number of pages10
JournalACS Omega
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


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