Su Ryon Shin, Saghi Saghazadeh, Xu Hou, Jeroen Leijten, Ebrahim Mostafavi, Nasim Annabi, Serena Mandla, Ali Khademhosseini, Rainer Adelung, Sindu Shree, Alireza Moshaverinia, Akbar Khalilpour, Amir Nasajpour, Michael J. Mitchell, Shabir Hassan, Roholah Sharifi, Yogendra Kumar Mishra, Ali Tamayol
Nanoparticles have been used for engineering composite materials to improve the intrinsic properties and/or add functionalities to pristine polymers. The majority of the studies have focused on the incorporation of spherical nanoparticles within the composite fibers. Herein, we incorporate anisotropic branched-shaped zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles into fibrous scaffolds fabricated by electrospinning. The addition of the branched particles resulted in their protrusion from fibers, mimicking the architecture of a rose stem. We demonstrated that the encapsulation of different-shape particles significantly influences the physicochemical and biological activities of the resultant composite scaffolds. In particular, the branched nanoparticles induced heterogeneous crystallization of the polymeric matrix and enhance the ultimate mechanical strain and strength. Moreover, the three-dimensional (3D) nature of the branched ZnO nanoparticles enhanced adhesion properties of the composite scaffolds to the tissues. In addition, the rose stem-like constructs offered excellent antibacterial activity, while supporting the growth of eukaryote cells.