Author(s): Moroni L, Licht R, de Boer J, de Wijn JR, van Blitterswijk CA
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Abstract Electrospinning (ESP) has lately shown a great potential as a novel scaffold fabrication technique for tissue engineering. Scaffolds are produced by spinning a polymeric solution in fibers through a spinneret connected to a high-voltage electric field. The fibers are then collected on a support, where the scaffold is created. Scaffolds can be of different shapes, depending on the collector geometry, and have high porosity and high surface per volume ratio, since the deposited fibers vary from the microscale to the nanoscale range. Such fibers are quite effective in terms of tissue regeneration, as cells can bridge the scaffold pores and fibers, resulting in a fast and homogeneous tissue growth. Furthermore, fibers can display a nanoporous ultrastructure due to solvent evaporation. The aim of this study was to characterize electrospun scaffolds from poly(ethylene oxide terephthalate)-poly(butylene terephthalate) (PEOT/PBT) copolymers and to unravel the mechanism of pore formation on the fibers. The effect of different fiber diameters and of their surface nanotopology on cell seeding, attachment, and proliferation was studied. Smooth fibers with diameter of 10microm were found to support an optimal cell seeding and attachment within the micrometer range analyzed. Moreover, a nanoporous surface significantly enhanced cell proliferation and cells spreading on the fibers. The fabrication of ESP scaffolds with incorporated dyes with different molecular dimensions is also reported and their release measured. These findings contribute to the field of cell-material interaction and lead to the fabrication of "smart" scaffolds which can direct cells morphology and proliferation, and eventually release biological signals to properly conduct tissue formation.
This article was published in Biomaterials
and referenced in Journal of Biomimetics Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering