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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 2018, Article ID 6573947, 13 pages
Research Article

Potential of Electrospun Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate)/Collagen Blends for Tissue Engineering Applications

1Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, Campus Ecotekne, Via per Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
2Distretto Tecnologico High Tech DHITECH Scarl, Campus Ecotekne, Via per Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
3EggPlant Srl, Via Don Minzoni 27, 70044 Polignano a Mare, Italy
4Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Piazza Giulio Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy
5Institute of Nanotechnology of the National Research Council (CNR NANOTEC), CNR, Campus Ecotekne, Via per Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Marta Madaghiele; ti.otnelasinu@eleihgadam.atram

Received 15 January 2018; Accepted 28 March 2018; Published 19 April 2018

Academic Editor: Saverio Affatato

Copyright © 2018 Luca Salvatore et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this work, tunable nonwoven mats based on poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) and type I collagen (Coll) were successfully produced by electrospinning. The PHB/Coll weight ratio (fixed at 100/0, 70/30, and 50/50, resp.) was found to control the morphological, thermal, mechanical, and degradation properties of the mats. Increasing collagen amounts led to larger diameters of the fibers (in the approximate range 600–900 nm), while delaying their thermal decomposition (from 245°C to 262°C). Collagen also accelerated the hydrolytic degradation of the mats upon incubation in aqueous medium at 37°C for 23 days (with final weight losses of 1%, 15%, and 23% for 100/0, 70/30, and 50/50 samples, resp.), as a result of increased mat wettability and reduced PHB crystallinity. Interestingly, 70/30 meshes were the ones displaying the lowest stiffness (~116 MPa; versus 100/0 and 50/50 meshes), while 50/50 samples had an elastic modulus comparable to that of 100/0 ones (~250 MPa), likely due to enhanced physical crosslinking of the collagen chains, at least at high protein amounts. All substrates were also found to allow for good viability and proliferation of murine fibroblasts, up to 6 days of culture. Collectively, the results evidenced the potential of as-spun PHB/Coll meshes for tissue engineering applications.