Regenerating airway epithelium using fibrous biomimetic basement membranes

Dina Gadalla, Yourka D. Tchoukalova, David G. Lott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are reciprocal interactions between epithelial cells and underlying basement membrane. The resemblance of biomaterials to native basement membrane is thus critical for their success when used to regenerate epithelium-containing organs. Particularly, the use of nanofibers and the incorporation of basement membrane proteins may mimic both biophysical and biochemical properties of basement membrane, respectively. Herein we tested how electrospun polycaprolactone/heparin fibers with and without adsorbed laminin and collagen IV proteins affect epithelial cell functions. We found that airway epithelial cells attached, migrated, and proliferated on all scaffolds but protein-functionalized fibers promoted higher attachment, quicker migration, and increased proliferation. Fibers were then integrated on polyethylene scaffolds and cultured at an air-liquid interface. The detection of secretory and ciliated cell markers was higher in cells on polyethylene with fibers. These findings demonstrate that electrospun fibers incite beneficial epithelial cell responses and can be used in the fabrication of bioengineered functional epithelia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1251-1262
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • airway epithelium
  • electrospinning
  • fiber scaffolds
  • polycaprolactone
  • re-epithelialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


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