2013  •   Engineering and Technology

Enhanced Skin Cell Adhesion on Bioactive Rosette Nanotube Composites

Lead Presenter: Linlin Sun

Over decades, even with intensive investigations, it is still hard to achieve skin regeneration in both functional and cosmetic satisfaction. Based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) report, there are more than 300,000 people dead from fire-related burn injuries every year. The wound healing process contains complex steps: haemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling, as well as various cell-signalling molecules. Therefore, rather than replacement, skin regeneration requires an optimal cellular microenvironment. As the natural dermal extracellular matrix (ECM) is composed of nanoscaled molecules (e.g., collagen, elastin, laminin, proteoglycans), nanoengineered skin scaffolds could be used to provide optimal nano-modified surface or nanostructures functionalized with growth factors, cytokines or peptides, which further enable to accelerate regeneration process as well as inhibit scar formation. A variety of approches including electrospinning, porogen leaching, phase separation, and molecular self-assembly, have been used to prepare graft materials. ├ŽAmong self-assembled molecules, rosette nanotubes (RNTs), composed of DNA base (Guanine^Cytosine) motifs, could self-assemble to form nanotubular structures in aqueous solutions. With 1.1/3.4 nm inner/outer diameters and up to several micrometers in length, RNTs have a similar dimension as natural collagen in skin extracellular matrix (about 1.5 nm in diameter and 300 nm in length). RNTs has endowed metallic or polymeric materials with bioactivity to promote many types of cell functions in terms of cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. In this study, rosette nanotubes assembled by twin base linker molecules are used with poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) pHEMA for skin application.