Bacteriophage adsorption on electrospun scaffolds of PLA loaded with cationic arginine compounds
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The research about biodegradable polymers has grown so quickly during last decades. One of the main reasons is their application in the field of biomedicine. These polymers are nontoxic for the organism and could be metabolized by the human body after a controlled degradation. Gene therapy success depends on safety and effective of the gene carriers. For that reason the creation of new synthetic vectors is necessary. The temporary scaffolds are one of the most important applications of biodegradable polymers. Temporary scaffolds are used to replace a tissue of the human body that has been broken or weakened by an illness, injury or surgery. In this project new synthetized biodegradable polymers based on arginine are employed and characterized through FTIR, RMN, DSC, X-rays and GPC. Electrospun PLA scaffolds containing either this new family of polymers or pure arginine are prepared. To obtain the optimal quality of the scaffold it is necessary to tune the electrospinning operational parameters (e.g. flow rate, voltage, needle-collector distance, collector type). Furthermore, both the conditions of the solution (e.g. polymer type and concentration, viscosity, conductivity) as well as the ambient parameters play an important role to get the optimal electrospinning conditions. The scaffolds are characterized with different techniques, SEM for the morphologic study and fiber diameter measurement, contact angle to evaluate the hydrophobicity of the surface, infrared analysis to assess the addition of the different arginine compounds, and thermal analysis to determine variations on thermal stability and characteristic transition temperatures. The use of bacteriophages is an interesting alternative for drug-resistant infections that has shown many good results in recent studies. The bacteriophages are a type of virus that only infects bacteria. Once characterized, the new prepared electrospun mats are loaded by adsorption with bacteriophages, which are specific for the Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria. The antibacterial ability of the loaded scaffolds is tested. PHMB is a well-known antibacterial compound that is used as positive control. Biocompatibility of new samples is also tested through cell adhesion and proliferation studies. Finally, the potential use in biomedicine for tissue engineering and infection control is evaluated.