Zero valent zinc nanoparticles promote neuroglial cell proliferation: A biodegradable and conductive filler candidate for nerve regeneration

J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2017 Jan;28(1):19. doi: 10.1007/s10856-016-5831-1. Epub 2016 Dec 23.


Regeneration of nerve, which has limited ability to undergo self-healing, is one of the most challenging areas in the field of tissue engineering. Regarding materials used in neuroregeneration, there is a recent trend toward electrically conductive materials. It has been emphasized that the capacity of conductive materials to regenerate such tissue having limited self-healing ability improves their clinical utility. However, there have been concerns about the safety of materials or fillers used for conductance due to their lack of degradability. Here, we attempt to use poly(Ɛ-caprolactone) (PCL) matrix consisting of varying proportions of zero valent zinc nanoparticles (Zn NPs) via electrospinning. These conductive, biodegradable, and bioactive materials efficiently promoted neuroglial cell proliferation depending on the amount of Zn NPs present in the PCL matrix. Chemical characterizations indicated that the incorporated Zn NPs do not interact with the PCL matrix chemically and that the Zn NPs improved the tensile properties of the PCL matrix. All composites exhibited linear conductivity under in vitro conditions. In vitro cell culture studies were performed to determine the cytotoxicity and proliferative efficiency of materials containing different proportions of Zn NPs. The results were obtained to explore new conductive fillers that can promote tissue regeneration.

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Humans
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nerve Regeneration
  • Neuroglia / cytology*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Polyesters / chemistry
  • Regeneration
  • Tensile Strength
  • Tissue Engineering / methods
  • Zinc / chemistry*


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Polyesters
  • polycaprolactone
  • Zinc