Keratin nanoparticles-coating electrospun PVA nanofibers for potential neural tissue applications

  • Tingwang Guo
  • Xin Yang
  • Jia Deng
  • Liancai ZhuEmail author
  • Bochu WangEmail author
  • Shilei HaoEmail author
Engineering and Nano-engineering Approaches for Medical Devices Original Research
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Engineering and Nano-engineering Approaches for Medical Devices


Keratin has the potential to improve biocompatibility and bioactivity of polymeric nanofibers. However, the addition of keratin into the blend nanofiber would decrease the mechanical properties of nanofibers due to the poor spinnability of keratin, and caused inhomogeneous distribution of keratin inside the nanofibers. Therefore, polymeric nanofibers surface-modified with keratin nanoparticles would improve the hydrophility and mechanical property. In this study, keratose (oxidative keratin, KOS) nanoparticles-coating PVA nanofibers (KNPs/PVA) were fabricated by electrospray deposition after electrospinning and acted on neural cells. The chemical conformation, mechanical properties and wettability of KNPs/PVA nanofibers were characterized. The KNPs/PVA nanofibers provided better wettability and stronger mechanical properties compared to KOS/PVA blend nanofibers at the same mass ratio of KOS to PVA. Furthermore, KNPs/PVA nanofibers displayed better cyto-biocompatibility in terms of cell morphology, adhesion and proliferation compared with PVA nanofibers and KOS/PVA blend nanofibers. These results suggested that polymeric nanofibers surface-modified with KOS nanoparticles can provide superior wettability, mechanical properties and biocompatibility by comparison with the blend nanofibers.



The authors acknowledge the financial assistance provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant No. 31600770], Chongqing Research Program of Basic Research and Frontier Technology (Grant No. cstc2018jcyjAX0836), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities [Grant Nos. 106112017CDJXY230006 and 106112018CDQYSG0007].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Biorheological Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, College of BioengineeringChongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.College of Environment and ResourcesChongqing Technology and Business UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.Medical Technology DepartmentDehong Vocational CollegeDehongChina

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