Composite scaffolds of nano-hydroxyapatite and silk fibroin enhance mesenchymal stem cell-based bone regeneration via the interleukin 1 alpha autocrine/paracrine signaling loop.
In this study, a novel tissue engineering scaffold material of electrospun silk fibroin/nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA) biocomposite was prepared by means of an effective calcium and phosphate (Ca-P) alternate soaking method. nHA was successfully produced on regenerated silk fibroin nanofiber as a substrate within several minutes without any pretreatments. The morphologies of both nonmineralized and mineralized nanofibers were analyzed using a field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). The crystallographic phases of the nHA were analyzed using X-ray diffraction (XRD). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrophotometer and thermogravimetry analyses (TGA) were employed to determine the type of functional groups and the amount of nHA presenting in the silk/nHA biocomposite nanofibers, respectively. The osteoblastic activities of this novel nanofibrous biocomposite scaffold were also investigated by employing osteoblastic-like MC3T3-E1 cell line. The cell functionality such as alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity was ameliorated on mineralized nanofibers. All these results indicated that this silk/nHA biocomposite scaffold material may be a promising biomaterial for bone tissue engineering.