The dissolution of Bombyx mori silk !broin (SF) !lms in formic acid (FA) for the preparation of electrospinning dopes is widely exploited to produce electrospun SF scaffolds. The SilkBridge® nerve conduit is an example of medical device having in its wall structure an electrospun component produced from an FA spinning dope. Though highly volatile, residual FA remains trapped into the bulk of the SF nano!bers. The purpose of this work is to investigate the type and strength of the interaction between FA and SF in electrospun mats, to quantify its amount and to evaluate its possible toxicological impact on human health. The presence of residual FA in SF mats was detected by FTIR and Raman spectroscopy (new carbonyl peak at about 1,725 cm!1) and by solid state NMR, which revealed a new carbonyl signal at about 164.3 ppm, attributed to FA by isotopic 13C substitution. Changes occurred also in the spectral ranges of hydroxylated amino acids (Ser and Thr), demonstrating that FA interacted with SF by forming formyl esters. The total amount of FA was determined by HS-GC/MS analysis and accounted for 247 ± 20 !mol/g. The greatest part was present as formyl ester, a small part (about 3%) as free FA. Approximately 17% of the 1,500 !mol/g of hydroxy amino acids (Ser and Thr) theoretically available were involved in the formation of formyl esters. Treatment with alkali (Na2CO3) succeeded to remove the greatest part of FA, but not all. Alkali-treated electrospun SF mats underwent morphological, physical, and mechanical changes. The average diameter of the !bers increased from about 440 nm to about 480 nm, the mat shrunk, became stiffer (the modulus increased from about 5.5 MPa to about 7 MPa), and lost elasticity (the strain decreased from about 1 mm/mm to about 0.8 mm/mm). Biocompatibility studies with human adult dermal !broblasts did not show signi!cant difference in cell proliferation (313 ± 18 and 309 ± 23 cells/ mm2 for untreated and alkali-treated SF mat, respectively) and metabolic activity. An in-depth evaluation of the possible toxicological impact of residual FA was made using the SilkBridge® nerve conduit as case study, following the provisions of the ISO 10993-1 standard. The Potential Patient Daily Intake, calculated from the total amount of FA determined by HS-GC/MS, was 2.4 mg/day and the Tolerable Exposure level was set to 35.4 mg/day.

Electrospun Silk Fibroin Scaffolds for Tissue Regeneration: Chemical, Structural, and Toxicological Implications of the Formic Acid-Silk Fibroin Interaction

Anna Chiarini
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Ilaria Dal Prà
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2022

Abstract

The dissolution of Bombyx mori silk !broin (SF) !lms in formic acid (FA) for the preparation of electrospinning dopes is widely exploited to produce electrospun SF scaffolds. The SilkBridge® nerve conduit is an example of medical device having in its wall structure an electrospun component produced from an FA spinning dope. Though highly volatile, residual FA remains trapped into the bulk of the SF nano!bers. The purpose of this work is to investigate the type and strength of the interaction between FA and SF in electrospun mats, to quantify its amount and to evaluate its possible toxicological impact on human health. The presence of residual FA in SF mats was detected by FTIR and Raman spectroscopy (new carbonyl peak at about 1,725 cm!1) and by solid state NMR, which revealed a new carbonyl signal at about 164.3 ppm, attributed to FA by isotopic 13C substitution. Changes occurred also in the spectral ranges of hydroxylated amino acids (Ser and Thr), demonstrating that FA interacted with SF by forming formyl esters. The total amount of FA was determined by HS-GC/MS analysis and accounted for 247 ± 20 !mol/g. The greatest part was present as formyl ester, a small part (about 3%) as free FA. Approximately 17% of the 1,500 !mol/g of hydroxy amino acids (Ser and Thr) theoretically available were involved in the formation of formyl esters. Treatment with alkali (Na2CO3) succeeded to remove the greatest part of FA, but not all. Alkali-treated electrospun SF mats underwent morphological, physical, and mechanical changes. The average diameter of the !bers increased from about 440 nm to about 480 nm, the mat shrunk, became stiffer (the modulus increased from about 5.5 MPa to about 7 MPa), and lost elasticity (the strain decreased from about 1 mm/mm to about 0.8 mm/mm). Biocompatibility studies with human adult dermal !broblasts did not show signi!cant difference in cell proliferation (313 ± 18 and 309 ± 23 cells/ mm2 for untreated and alkali-treated SF mat, respectively) and metabolic activity. An in-depth evaluation of the possible toxicological impact of residual FA was made using the SilkBridge® nerve conduit as case study, following the provisions of the ISO 10993-1 standard. The Potential Patient Daily Intake, calculated from the total amount of FA determined by HS-GC/MS, was 2.4 mg/day and the Tolerable Exposure level was set to 35.4 mg/day.
silk !broin, formic acid, electrospinning, spectroscopy analysis, toxicology, silkbridge ®
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1055766
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