Johan Pfeiffer

Johan Pfeiffer

Master student

Evaluation of polycaprolactone-based melt electrowritten scaffolds for wound healing applications


Supervisors: Irem Unalan, Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini

Due to the low regeneration capability of innate tissues and various factors influencing the physiological wound healing process, many full-thickness- or even chronic wounds are currently difficult to address medically [1]. This leads to an increasing demand for the development of materials, methods, and technologies dealing with skin regeneration, replacements, and wound healing, where biomimetic microarchitectural detail is necessary [2]. As a fairly recent and emerging technology, melt electrowriting (MEW) enables the precise fabrication of microfibrous scaffolds and, with that, finds an ideal application in tissue engineering when used in combination with, for example, polycaprolactone (PCL), a synthetic polymer which is used due to its biocompatibility, mechanical strength, and melt processability [3]. In contrast, the biodegradability, cell adhesion, and proliferation responses to PCL are limited [3]. On the other hand, natural polymers such as gelatin, chitosan, and collagen could promote cell adhesion and proliferation properties of PCL [2,4]. Therefore, this thesis will investigate the physical, mechanical, chemical, and biological properties of PCL-based scaffolds produced via MEW.

[1] Hewitt, E., Mros, S., McConnell, M., Cabral, J. D., & Ali, A. (2019). Melt-electrowriting with novel milk protein/PCL biomaterials for skin regeneration. Biomedical Materials, 14(5), 055013.

[2] Yoshida, M., Turner, P. R., Ali, M. A., & Cabral, J. D. (2021). Three-Dimensional Melt-Electrowritten Polycaprolactone/Chitosan Scaffolds Enhance Mesenchymal Stem Cell Behavior. ACS Applied Bio Materials, 4(2), 1319-1329.

[3] Zhang, F., Cao, K., Zaeri, A., Zgeib, R., & Chang, R. C. (2022). Design, fabrication, and analysis of spatially heterogeneous scaffold by melt electrospinning writing of poly (ε‐Caprolactone). Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 139(22), 52235.

[4] Sergi, R., Bellucci, D., & Cannillo, V. (2020). A review of bioactive glass/natural polymer composites: State of the art. Materials, 13(23), 5560.