The modulation of phagocyte responses is essential for successful performance of biomaterials in order to prevent negative outcomes associated with inflammation. Herein, we developed electrospun poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) scaffolds doped with the novel potent c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitors 11H-indeno[1,2-b]quinoxalin-11-one oxime (IQ-1) and 11H-indeno[1,2-b]quinoxalin-11-one O-(O-ethylcarboxymethyl) oxime(IQ-1E) as a promising approach for modulating phagocyte activation. Optimized electrospinning parameters allowed us to produce microfiber composite materials with suitable mechanical properties. We found that embedded compounds were bound to the polymer matrix via hydrophobic interactions and released in two steps, with release mostly controlled by Fickian diffusion. The fabricated scaffolds doped with active compounds IQ-1 and IQ-1E effectively inhibited phagocyte inflammatory responses. For example, they suppressed human neutrophil activation by the biomaterials, as indicated by decreased neutrophil reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and Ca2+ mobilization. In addition, they inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced NF-κB/AP-1 reporter activity in THP-1Blue cells and interleukin (IL)-6 production in MonoMac-6 cells without affecting cell viability. These effects were attributed to the released compounds rather than cell-surface interactions. Therefore, our study demonstrates that doping tissue engineering scaffolds with novel JNK inhibitors represents a powerful tool for preventing adverse immune responses to biomaterials as well as serves as a platform for drug delivery.
Keywords: JNK inhibitor; biomaterial; c-Jun-N-terminal kinase; electrospinning; immune response; neutrophil; poly(ε-caprolactone).