Electrospun nanofibers are becoming increasingly popular for applications in tissue engineering scaffolds, as they partially mimic the topography of the extracellular matrix. Nanofiber scaffolds promote in vivo-like salivary epithelial cell tissue organization and apicobasal polarization. Nanofibers alone provide surface topography and increased surface area that promote cellular attachment. Core/shell nanofibers, however, offer the versatility of incorporating two materials with different properties into one. Such synthetic materials can provide the mechanical and degradation properties required to make a construct that mimics in vivo tissue. Many variations of these fibers can be of interest. The challenge lies in the ability to characterize and quantify these nanofibers post fabrication.

This chapter presents a technique to non-invasively characterize the composition of fibers at the nanoscale level using confocal Raman scanning microscopy. The biodegradable/biocompatible nanofibers, poly (glycerol-sebacate)/poly (lactic-co-glycolic) (PGS/PLGA), were characterized as a part of a fiber scaffold used for tissue engineering. In addition to that, the composite nanofiber scaffolds, which were optimized to act as an epidermal growth factor (EGF) delivery system to enhance the cell proliferation, were analyzed. These nanofiber/EGF hybrid nanofibers were synthesized by double-emulsion electrospinning, where EGF is emulsified within a water/oil/water (w/o/w) double-emulsion system, and the successful incorporation of EGF was confirmed by Raman micro-spectroscopic studies.