Electrospun nanofibers with their nanoscale structure and ability to mimic native extracellular matrix (ECM) harbor a great potential for biotechnology, biomedicine, and tissue engineering. Inorganic nanofibers, such as silica-based nanofibers, have attracted attention for their physical and chemical stability, surface functionalities and hydrophilic nature.In this study, we tested biodegradable SiO2 nanofibers prepared by sol-gel method and needleless electrospinning as a scaffold for human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC), cells which are promising for regenerative medicine. The nanofibers were tested for cytotoxicity and capability to support cell adhesion.For cytotoxicity testing, the nanofibers were incubated for 24 or 72 hours in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or cell culture media supplemented with serum. The eluate was then applied to hMSC for either 24 hours or 4 days and cytotoxicity was evaluated using MTT assay. While eluates from PBS-treated nanofibers had no effect on the cells, eluates from nanofibers treated with serum-containing media had negative impact on cell metabolic activity.The adhesion of hMSC to nanofibers was studied using confocal microscopy. The nanofibers supported cell adhesion, however cell survival was limited.In conclusion, silica-based nanofibers supported the adhesion of hMSC, however, they were not sufficient for extended cultivation and nanofibre eluates decreased the viability of the cells. Additional tests will be necessary to clarify the interactions of hMSC with silica nanofibers and to optimize conditions for long-term cell survival.Keywords: Silica nanofibers, electrospinning, sol-gel method, cytotoxicity, hMSC
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