Adult Stem Cells on Methacrylic Acid Grafted Cocoon Silky Fibrous Scaffolds

Susan Mani, Manitha B Nair, S Nisha, K Sreenivasan, Mariamma Jacob, Annie John


Nature often provides the stimulus for new insights into material science though vivid varieties of synthetic degradable biomaterials are in use. Natural silk fibers as biomaterials have fascinated researchers due to their unusual appearance, biocompatibility and remarkable mechanical properties including high strength and toughness. In the present study, we have characterized the silk fibers obtained from Bombyx mori cocoons and ascertained their non-cytotoxic nature in contact with L929 fibroblast cells. Simultaneously cytocompatibility of the silk fibers were also assessed using rat, goat and human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells using Light, Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy. The results have depicted that this natural fibrous silky scaffold is capable of supporting and maintaining mesenchymal stem cells in vitro. In order to achieve desirable scaffolding architecture with improved hydrophilicity and mechanical properties favoring cell attachment, nutrient exchange and neo-tissue organization, we have attempted to modify the natural cocoon silk fibers by grafting poly methacrylic acid. FT-IR studies on grafted silk has identified an additional peak at 1741 cm-1 characteristic of C=O stretching. This modified surface has enhanced the affinity of cells which is presumed to be due to the altered surface architecture. Admiring the remarkable qualities of natural silk, this silky scaffold with cells can be engineered to build up “living tissue constructs” especially for the augmentation and repair of worn out ligaments and tendons of the human skeletal body. © Society for Biomaterials and Artificial Organs (India).

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