Tissue engineering is an emerging field in biomedicine, holding enormous promise for regenerative medicine.
Scaffolds, within which cells proliferate, are a controlling factor in tissue engineering applications. Upon fabrication, tissue
scaffolds must undergo appropriate sterilization to eliminate contaminants. Current sterilization methods are either
costly, time consuming, or ineffective. In this study, a quaternary salt, benzalkonium chloride (BAC), was used as a
chemical agent for sterilization of nonwoven polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fibers and polylactic acid nanofibers.
Treating the PET scaffolds with 0.1% (w/v) BAC for only 2 minutes was effective to eliminate bacterial contaminants in
the fibrous matrices. In addition, astrocyte cells were successfully cultured in the PET scaffolds following BAC sterilization,
demonstrating the suitability of BAC as a sterilization agent. This chemical sterilization method is also mild and
nonabrasive to nanostructured materials such as electrospun polylactic acid nanofibers.