Hyaluronic acid-cyclodextrin crosslinked nanofibers for medical applications

M. Seon-Lutz, A. Hebraud, A-C. Couffin, S. Vignoud, G. Schlatter

Keywords: electrospinning, drug delivery, hyaluronic acid, nanofibers


Hyaluronic acid (HA), a polysaccharide naturally found in the human body is crucial for many cellular and tissue functions and has been used in medicine for decades. A HA-based nanofibrous scaffold was successfully fabricated by electrospinning, using exclusively water as a solvent. Suitable blending with a template polymer and a modified cyclodextrine (hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin: HPβCD) allowed us to easily electrospinning this polysaccharide and thereby providing fibers in nanometer range (100-500 nm). HPβCD is a compound of interest by its ability to encapsulate hydrophobic molecules, but we also demonstrated its role as a processing aid in fiber formation. For medical purposes, the pre-formed mats require to be treated to exert water resistant feature. Crosslinking conditions (addition stage, concentration and annealing time) were investigated and then optimized using N-(3-Dimethylaminopropyl)-N′-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) as biocompatible crosslinking agent. To validate the encapsulation properties of embedded HPβCD, nanofibers with HPβCD complexed with small molecules with anti-inflammatory properties (Naproxen) were produced. Finally, the release kinetics of the active compound was characterized for these obtained functional fibers. The use of biocompatible products and the absence of harmful solvents make this nanofibrous scaffold a material of choice for biomedical applications in tissue engineering or wound healing. Furthermore, the combination of intrinsic characteristics of the HA and encapsulating properties of the HPβCD enabled the development of a bioactive material.