Development of biodegradable electrospun scaffolds for dermal replacement

Biomaterials. 2008 Jul;29(21):3091-104. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2008.03.037. Epub 2008 Apr 29.


Our objective is to develop a synthetic biodegradable replacement dermal substitute for tissue engineering of skin and oral mucosa. Our in vivo criteria were that candidate scaffolds should allow surrounding cells to migrate fully into the scaffolds, enabling vasculogenesis and remodelling without invoking a chronic inflammatory response. We examined a total of six experimental electrospun polymer scaffolds: (1) poly-l-lactide (PLLA); (2) PLLA+10% oligolactide; (3) PLLA+rhodamine and (4-6) three poly(d,l)-lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA) random multiblock copolymers, with decreasing lactide/glycolide mole fractions (85:15, 75:25 and 50:50). These were evaluated for degradation in vitro up to 108 days and in vivo in adult male Wistar rats from 4 weeks to 12 months. In vivo, all scaffolds permitted good cellular penetration, with no adverse inflammatory response outside the scaffold margin and with no capsule formation around the periphery. The breakdown rate for each scaffold in vitro versus in vivo was similar, and an increase in the ratio of polyglycolide to polylactide correlated with an increase in breakdown rate, as expected. Scaffolds of PLLA were stable in vivo even after 12 months whereas scaffolds fabricated from PLGA 85:15 and 75:25 revealed a 50% loss of mass after 4 and 3 months, respectively. In vitro PLGA 85:15 and 75:25 scaffolds were able to support keratinocyte, fibroblast and endothelial cell growth and extracellular matrix production, with evidence of new collagen production after 7 days. In conclusion, the data supports the development of PLGA 85:15 and 75:25 electrospun polymer scaffolds as potential degradable biomaterials for dermal replacement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / cytology
  • Lactic Acid / chemistry
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Polyesters / chemistry
  • Polyglycolic Acid / chemistry
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Rhodamines / chemistry
  • Skin, Artificial*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Polyesters
  • Rhodamines
  • Polylactic Acid-Polyglycolic Acid Copolymer
  • Polyglycolic Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • poly(lactide)