Direct Writing Electrospinning of Scaffolds with Multidimensional Fiber Architecture for Hierarchical Tissue Engineering

Honglin Chen, Afonso de Botelho Ferreira Braga Malheiro, Clemens van Blitterswijk, Carlos Mota, Paul Andrew Wieringa, Lorenzo Moroni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

65 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Nanofibrous structures have long been used as scaffolds for tissue engineering (TE) applications, due to their favorable characteristics, such as high porosity, flexibility, high cell attachment and enhanced proliferation, and overall resemblance to native extracellular matrix (ECM). Such scaffolds can be easily produced at a low cost via electrospinning (ESP), but generally cannot be fabricated with a regular and/or complex geometry, characterized by macropores and uniform thickness. We present here a novel technique for direct writing (DW) with solution ESP to produce complex three-dimensional (3D) multiscale and ultrathin (similar to 1 mu m) fibrous scaffolds with desirable patterns and geometries. This technique was simply achieved via manipulating technological conditions, such as spinning solution, ambient conditions, and processing parameters. Three different regimes in fiber morphologies were observed, including bundle with dispersed fibers, bundle with a core of aligned fibers, and single fibers. The transition between these regimes depended on tip to collector distance (Wd) and applied voltage (V), which could be simplified as the ratio V/Wd. Using this technique, a scaffold mimicking the zonal organization of articular cartilage was further fabricated as a proof of concept, demonstrating the ability to better mimic native tissue organization. The DW scaffolds directed tissue organization and fibril matrix orientation in a zone-dependent way. Comparative expression of chondrogenic markers revealed a substantial upregulation of Sox9 and aggrecan (ACAN) on these structures compared to conventional electrospun meshes. Our novel method provides a simple way to produce customized 3D ultrathin fibrous scaffolds, with great potential for TE applications, in particular those for which anisotropy is of importance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38187-38200
Number of pages14
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Volume9
Issue number44
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • direct writing
  • electrospinning
  • tissue engineering articular cartilage
  • human mesenchymal stromal cells
  • MESENCHYMAL STEM-CELLS
  • POROUS POLYMERIC SCAFFOLDS
  • MARROW STROMAL CELLS
  • CHONDROGENIC DIFFERENTIATION
  • PORE-SIZE
  • IN-VITRO
  • ARTICULAR-CARTILAGE
  • CHARGING COMPENSATION
  • MECHANICAL-PROPERTIES
  • TIME-LAPSE

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