Biosynthesis of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles on l-Carnosine Biofunctionalized Polyacrylonitrile Nanofibers: a Biomimetic Wound Healing Material

Shahin Homaeigohar (Lead / Corresponding author), Mhd Adel Assad, Amir Hossein Azari, Farnaz Ghorbani, Chloe Rodgers, Matthew J. Dalby, Kai Zheng, Rongyao Xu (Lead / Corresponding author), Mady Elbahri (Lead / Corresponding author), Aldo R. Boccaccini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Multifunctional biohybrid nanofibers (NFs) that can simultaneously drive various cellular activities and confer antibacterial properties are considered desirable in producing advanced wound healing materials. In this study, a bionanohybrid formulation was processed as a NF wound dressing to stimulate the adhesion and proliferation of fibroblast and endothelial cells that play a major role in wound healing. Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) electrospun NFs were hydrolyzed using NaOH and biofunctionalized with l-carnosine (CAR), a dipeptide which could later biosynthesize zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) on the NFs surface. The morphological study verified that ZnO NPs are uniformly distributed on the surface of CAR/PAN NFs. Through EDX and XRD analysis, it was validated that the NPs are composed of ZnO and/or ZnO/Zn(OH)2. The presence of CAR and ZnO NPs brought about a superhydrophilicity effect and notably raised the elastic modulus and tensile strength of Zn-CAR/PAN NFs. While CAR ligands were shown to improve the viability of fibroblast (L929) and endothelial (HUVEC) cells, ZnO NPs lowered the positive impact of CAR, most likely due to their repulsive negative surface charge. A scratch assay verified that CAR/PAN NFs and Zn-CAR/PAN NFs aided HUVEC migration more than PAN NFs. Also, an antibacterial assay implied that CAR/PAN NFs and Zn-CAR/PAN NFs are significantly more effective in inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) than neat PAN NFs are (1000 and 500%, respectively). Taken together, compared to the neat PAN NFs, CAR/PAN NFs with and without the biosynthesized ZnO NPs can support the cellular activities of relevance for wound healing and inactivate bacteria.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4290-4303
Number of pages14
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
Issue number10
Early online date18 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2023


  • nanofiber
  • biofunctionalization
  • wound healing
  • zinc oxide
  • polyacrylonitrile
  • L-carnosine
  • l-carnosine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, medical
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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