Author(s): Nam J, Huang Y, Agarwal S, Lannutti J
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Abstract Small pore sizes inherent to electrospun matrices can hinder efficient cellular ingrowth. To facilitate infiltration while retaining its extracellular matrix-like character, electrospinning was combined with salt leaching to produce a scaffold having deliberate, engineered delaminations. We made elegant use of a specific randomizing component of the electrospinning process, the Taylor Cone and the falling fiber beneath it, to produce a uniform, well-spread distribution of salt particles. After 3 weeks of culture, up to 4 mm of cellular infiltration was observed, along with cellular coverage of up to 70\% within the delaminations. To our knowledge, this represents the first observation of extensive cellular infiltration of electrospun matrices. Infiltration appears to be driven primarily by localized proliferation rather than coordinated cellular locomotion. Cells also moved from the salt-generated porosity into the surrounding electrospun fiber matrix. Given that the details of salt deposition (amount, size, and number density) are far from optimized, the result provides a convincing illustration of the ability of mammalian cells to interact with appropriately tailored electrospun matrices. These layered structures can be precisely fabricated by varying the deposition interval and particle size conceivably to produce in vivo-like gradients in porosity such that the resulting scaffolds better resemble the desired final structure.
This article was published in Tissue Eng
and referenced in Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering