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Biomaterials. 2004 Feb;25(5):877-86.

Aligned biodegradable nanofibrous structure: a potential scaffold for blood vessel engineering.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore, 9 Engineering Drive 1, 117576 Singapore, Singapore. enxc@nus.edu.sg


A unique biodegradable nanofibrous structure, aligned poly(L-lactid-co-epsilon-caprolactone) [P(LLA-CL)] (75:25) copolymer nanofibrous scaffold was produced by electrospinning. The diameter of the generated fibers was around 500 nm with an aligned topography which mimics the circumferential orientation of cells and fibrils found in the medial layer of a native artery. A favorable interaction between this scaffold with human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (SMCs) was demonstrated via MTS assay, phase contrast light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, immunohistology assay and laser scanning confocal microscopy separately. Tissue culture polystyrene and plane solvent-cast P(LLA-CL) film were used as controls. The results showed that, the SMCs attached and migrated along the axis of the aligned nanofibers and expressed a spindle-like contractile phenotype; the distribution and organization of smooth muscle cytoskeleton proteins inside SMCs were parallel to the direction of the nanofibers; the adhesion and proliferation rate of SMCs on the aligned nanofibrous scaffold was significantly improved than on the plane polymer films. The above results strongly suggest that this synthetic aligned matrix combines with the advantages of synthetic biodegradable polymers, nanometer-scale dimension mimicking the natural ECM and a defined architecture replicating the in vivo-like vascular structure, may represent an ideal tissue engineering scaffold, especially for blood vessel engineering.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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