Inflammation-sensitive in situ smart scaffolding for regenerative medicine†
To cope with the rapid evolution of the tissue engineering field, it is now essential to incorporate the use of on-site responsive scaffolds. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to find new ‘Intelligent’ biomaterials that can respond to the physicochemical changes in the microenvironment. In this present report, we have developed biocompatible stimuli responsive polyaniline–multiwalled carbon nanotube/poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), (PANI–MWCNT/PNIPAm) composite nanofiber networks and demonstrated the physiological temperature coordinated cell grafting phenomenon on its surface. The composite nanofibers were prepared by a two-step process initiated with an assisted in situ polymerization followed by electrospinning. To obtain a smooth surface in individual nanofibers with the thinnest diameter, the component ratios and electrospinning conditions were optimized. The temperature-gated rearrangements of the molecular structure are characterized by FTIR spectroscopy with simultaneous macromolecular architecture changes reflected on the surface morphology, average diameter and pore size as determined by scanning electron microscopy. The stimuli responsiveness of the nanofibers has first been optimized with computational modeling of temperature sensitive components (coil-like and globular conformations) to tune the mechanism for temperature dependent interaction during in situ scaffolding with the cell membrane. The nanofiber networks show excellent biocompatibility, tested with fibroblasts and also show excellent sensitivity to inflammation to combat loco-regional acidosis that delay the wound healing process by an in vitro model that has been developed for testing the proposed responsiveness of the composite nanofiber networks. Cellular adhesion and detachment are regulated through physiological temperature and show normal proliferation of the grafted cells on the composite nanofibers. Thus, we report for the first time, the development of physiological temperature gated inflammation-sensitive smart biomaterials for advanced tissue regeneration and regenerative medicine.