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Alfalfa Nanofibers for Dermal Wound Healing

  • Seungkuk Ahn
    Seungkuk Ahn
    Disease Biophysics Group, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, United States
    More by Seungkuk Ahn
  • Herdeline Ann M. Ardoña
    Herdeline Ann M. Ardoña
    Disease Biophysics Group, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, United States
  • Patrick H. Campbell
    Patrick H. Campbell
    Disease Biophysics Group, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, United States
  • Grant M. Gonzalez
    Grant M. Gonzalez
    Disease Biophysics Group, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, United States
  • , and 
  • Kevin Kit Parker*
    Kevin Kit Parker
    Disease Biophysics Group, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, United States
    *Email: [email protected]. Tel.:+1- 617-495-1102.
Cite this: ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2019, 11, 37, 33535–33547
Publication Date (Web):August 1, 2019
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.9b07626
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    Engineering bioscaffolds for improved cutaneous tissue regeneration remains a healthcare challenge because of the increasing number of patients suffering from acute and chronic wounds. To help address this problem, we propose to utilize alfalfa, an ancient medicinal plant that contains antibacterial/oxygenating chlorophylls and bioactive phytoestrogens, as a building block for regenerative wound dressings. Alfalfa carries genistein, which is a major phytoestrogen known to accelerate skin repair. The scaffolds presented herein were built from composite alfalfa and polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofibers with hydrophilic surface and mechanical stiffness that recapitulate the physiological microenvironments of skin. This composite scaffold was engineered to have aligned nanofibrous architecture to accelerate directional cell migration. As a result, alfalfa-based composite nanofibers were found to enhance the cellular proliferation of dermal fibroblasts and epidermal keratinocytes in vitro. Finally, these nanofibers exhibited reproducible regenerative functionality by promoting re-epithelialization and granulation tissue formation in both mouse and human skin, without requiring additional proteins, growth factors, or cells. Overall, these findings demonstrate the potential of alfalfa-based nanofibers as a regenerative platform toward accelerating cutaneous tissue repair.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b07626.

    • SEM image of spun alfalfa (1 wt/v%) solution, PCL/alfalfa (6 wt/v%/1.5 wt/v%), and PCL/alfalfa (6 wt/v%/2 wt/v%); SEM image of healthy mouse skin; genistein release profile from PCL/alfalfa scaffolds in PBS solution at 37 °C; LDH cytotoxicity measurements of HEKa cells and HNDFs on nanofibers using the LDH assay at day 7 of cell culture; spinnability of PCL and alfalfa in HFIP by using pull spinning system at different polymer concentrations (PDF)

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