Methods of femtosecond laser ablation were used to fabricate bare (ligand-free) silicon (Si) nanoparticles in deionized water. The nanoparticles were round in shape, crystalline, free of any impurities, and water-dissolvable, while the dissolution rate depended on the concentration of oxygen defects in their composition. The nanoparticles were then eletrospun with chitosan to form nanoparticle decorated nanofibrous matrices. We found that the functionalization of nanofibers by the nanoparticles can affect the morphology and physico-chemical characteristics of resulting nanostructures. In particular, the presence of Si nanoparticles led to the reduction of fibers thickness, suggesting a potential improvement of fiber’s surface reactivity. We also observed the improvement of thermal stability of hybrid nanofibers. We believe that the incorporated Si nanoparticles can serve as functional elements to improve characteristics of chitosan-based matrices for cellular growth, as well as to enable novel imaging or therapeutic functionalities for tissue engineering applications.
Anton A. Popov, Ahmed Al-Kattan, Viraj P. Nirwan, Emilie Munnier, Gleb I. Tselikov, Yury V. Ryabchikov, Igor Chourpa, Amir Fahmi, and A. V. Kabashin, "Bare laser-synthesized Si nanoparticles as functional elements for chitosan nanofiber-based tissue engineering platforms," Proc. SPIE 10521, Synthesis and Photonics of Nanoscale Materials XV, 105210A (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 29, 2018; Published: 23 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2295196.
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