Toward multifunctional hybrid platforms for tissue engineering based on chitosan(PEO) nanofibers functionalized by bare laser-synthesized Au and Si nanoparticles
Exhibiting a variety of unique optical, structural and physicochemical properties, laser-synthesized nanomaterials have become increasingly popular during recent years in a variety of biomedical, catalytic, photovoltaic and other applications. Here, we explore the use of bare laser-synthesized gold and silicon nanoparticles (AuNPs and SiNPs) as additives to functionalize electrospun chitosan(PEO) nanofibers and then assess the potential of such hybrid structures as multifunctional platforms for tissue engineering. We demonstrate that bare AuNPs and SiNPs can be easily grafted on the surface of the chitosan(PEO) nanofibers without any interference, via electrostatic interaction between a strong negative surface charge of NPs and the polycationic surface of the fibers. We also show that the nanofibers functionalized with nanoparticles can affect the morphology and physico-chemical characteristics of the resulting nanostructures. As an example, the functionalization of nanofibers by SiNPs led to quite different thicknesses of fibers (386 ± 80 nm and 632 ± 170 nm), suggesting a potential improvement of fibre surface reactivity. Finally, biological toxicity of the nanofibers was assessed through preliminary viability tests conducted on HaCaT cells. After 24 h of incubation time, no adverse effects were observed confirming satisfactory biocompatibilty of the hybrid nanofiber structures. The proposed concept promises exciting perspectives in the development of innovative multifunctional scaffolds structures gathering new properties for tissue engineering.