Development of bioactive electrospun scaffolds suitable to support skin fibroblasts and release Lucilia sericata maggot excretion/secretion

Annesi G Giacaman, Ioanna D. Styliari, Vincenzo Taresco, David Pritchard, Cameron Alexander, View ORCID ProfileFelicity R Rose


rval therapy has been reported to exert beneficial actions upon chronic wound healing by promoting granulation tissue formation, antimicrobial activity and degrading necrotic tissue. However, the use of live maggots is problematic for patient acceptance, and thus there is a need to develop materials which can adsorb and release therapeutic biomolecules from maggot secretions. Here we describe the fabrication of a novel bioactive scaffold that can be loaded with Lucilia sericata maggot excretion/secretion (L. sericata maggot E/S) for wound therapy, and which also provides structural stability for mammalian cell-growth and migration. We show that electrospun scaffolds can be prepared from polycaprolactone-poly (ethylene glycol)–block copolymer (PCL-b-PEG) blended with PCL, to form fibres with average diameters of ~4 μm. We further demonstrate that the fibres are able to be loaded with L. sericata maggot E/S, in order to influence fibroblast migration through protease activity. Finally, we show that after 21 days, the cumulative amount of released L. sericata maggot E/S was ~14 μg/mL from PCL-b-PEG/PCL scaffolds and that the protease activity of L. sericata maggot E/S was preserved when PCL-b-PEG/PCL scaffolds were used as the release platform.