Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Novel_ultra-thin_films_based_on_a_blend_of_PEG-b-PCL_and_PLLA.pdf (3.61 MB)

Novel ultrathin films based on a blend of PEG- b-PCL and PLLA and doped with ZnO nanoparticles

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posted on 2021-06-17, 11:01 authored by Lorenzo Vannozzi, Pedro Jose Gouveia, Pasqualantonio Pingue, Claudio Canale, Leonardo Ricotti
In this paper, a novel nanofilm type is proposed based on a blend of poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(ε-caprolactone) methyl ether (PEG-b-PCL) and poly(l-lactic acid), doped with zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) at different concentrations (0.1, 1, and 10 mg/mL). All nanofilm types were featured by a thickness value of ∼500 nm. Increasing ZnO NP concentrations implied larger roughness values (∼22 nm for the bare nanofilm and ∼67 nm for the films with 10 mg/mL of NPs), larger piezoelectricity (average d33 coefficient for the film up to ∼1.98 pm/V), and elastic modulus: the nanofilms doped with 1 and 10 mg/mL of NPs were much stiffer than the nondoped controls and nanofilms doped with 0.1 mg/mL of NPs. The ZnO NP content was also directly proportional to the material melting point and crystallinity and inversely proportional to the material degradation rate, thus highlighting the stabilization role of ZnO particles. In vitro tests were carried out with cells of the musculoskeletal apparatus (fibroblasts, osteoblasts, chondrocytes, and myoblasts). All cell types showed good adhesion and viability on all substrate formulations. Interestingly, a higher content of ZnO NPs in the matrix demonstrated higher bioactivity, boosting the metabolic activity of fibroblasts, myoblasts, and chondrocytes and enhancing the osteogenic and myogenic differentiation. These findings demonstrated the potential of these nanocomposite matrices for regenerative medicine applications, such as tissue engineering.


European Commission, through the project ADMAIORA (Advanced nanocomposite MAterIals fOr in situ treatment and ultRAsound-mediated management of osteoarthritis), funded in the Horizon 2020 framework grant number: 814413 (



This document is the unedited author's version of a Submitted Work that was subsequently accepted for publication in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review. To access the final edited and published work, see

Published Citation

Vannozzi L, Gouveia P, Pingue P, Canale C, Ricotti L. Novel ultrathin films based on a blend of PEG-b-PCL and PLLA and doped with ZnO Nanoparticles. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2020;12(19):21398-21410.

Publication Date

17 April 2020

PubMed ID



  • Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine

Research Area

  • Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine


American Chemical Society (ACS)


  • Submitted Version (Preprint)