Lung Fibroblast Culture on Bioactive Scaffolds

A novel electrospun scaffold containing Copaiba oil has been developed in collaboration with the University of Campinas in Brazil, UCL and Nottingham Trent University. The incorporation of bioactive compounds into biodegradable polymers, such as poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) allows the fabrication of drug releasing bioactive scaffolds for potential use in applications such as wound care.

Native to the tropical region of Latin America, Copaiba oil is extracted from material from the Copaifera species. The oil is a FDA-approved compound known for its wound healing, anti-inflammatory, analgesics, antifungal and antimicrobial functions. Tests of cell growth with lung fibroblast cells reported a strong affinity of the fibroblasts and the biomaterial. At day 3, the cell density on Copaiba oil-containing scaffolds was higher than that on oil-free scaffolds (see image below). This could potentially be due to several phytoconstituents present in the oil, promoting collagen formation and thereby tissue formation. It is envisaged to extend this approach to other cell types and tissues.

Lung Wound Care SEM images (1000x) of fibroblast growth at days 1,3 and 6 on PLGA fibre scaffolds with and without Copaiba oil

This study has been published in the Journal of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering:

A. L. G. Millas, R. McKean, R. Stevens, M. Yusuf, J. V.W. Silveira, M. B. Puzzi, E. Bittencourt “Fabrication of electrospun scaffolds incorporating an Amazonian therapeutic oil from the Copaifera sp. for wound care applications” J. Biomater. Tissue Eng. 4 (2014), pp. 217-220.