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J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2014 Jul;25(7):1789-800. doi: 10.1007/s10856-014-5208-2. Epub 2014 Apr 12.

Ultrafine fibrous gelatin scaffolds with deep cell infiltration mimicking 3D ECMs for soft tissue repair.

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  • 1Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 234, HECO Building, Lincoln, NE, 68583-0802, USA.


In this research, ultrafine fibrous scaffolds with deep cell infiltration and sufficient water stability have been developed from gelatin, aiming to mimic the extracellular matrices (ECMs) as three dimensional (3D) stromas for soft tissue repair. The ultrafine fibrous scaffolds produced from the current technologies of electrospinning and phase separation are either lack of 3D oriented fibrous structure or too compact to be penetrated by cells. Whilst electrospun scaffolds are able to emulate two dimensional (2D) ECMs, they cannot mimic the 3D ECM stroma. In this work, ultralow concentration phase separation (ULCPS) has been developed to fabricate gelatin scaffolds with 3D randomly oriented ultrafine fibers and loose structures. Besides, a non-toxic citric acid crosslinking system has been established for the ULCPS method. This system could endow the scaffolds with sufficient water stability, while maintain the fibrous structures of scaffolds. Comparing with electrospun scaffolds, the ULCPS scaffolds showed improved cytocompatibility and more importantly, cell infiltration. This research has proved the possibility of using gelatin ULCPS scaffolds as the substitutes of 3D ECMs.

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