Title : Plasma-processed nanofibrous electrospun mats as functional scaffolds or drug delivery systems
Regenerative medicine stands before the problem to replace non-functional tissues or improve the wound healing. Therefore, many laboratories try to develop resorbable tissue scaffolds that could support the patient´s cells or breathable wound dressings that could immobilize biocide particles. The scaffold material should be biocompatible, biodegradable, and easy to manufacture, thus economically viable. A possible answer is to produce a structure made of a biodegradable polymer that mimics extracellular matrix (ECM), which would be peacefully received and gradually degraded when the new tissue has formed. The solution for wound dressings can also benefit from the nanofibrous structures that have bioactive surface able to immobilize biomolecules and particles. One of the promising polymers is FDA-approved polycaprolactone (PCL) due to its relatively low cost, excellent processability and mechanical properties, non-toxicity and low immunogenicity. However, the pristine form of PCL has a bioinert and hydrophobic surface causing problems with protein adsorption resulting in reduced cell adhesion. PCL nanofibrous mats can be efficiently modified by plasma polymerization. It leads to the formation of bioactive surface exhibiting increased cell attachment and proliferation. It offers also a possibility to attach proteins or blood platelets. In this contribution, various aspects important for plasma processing of polymer nanofibrous mats we will be discussed and the promising results will be demonstrated.