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Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2009 Jul-Aug;1(4):369-90. doi: 10.1002/wnan.39.

Nanofibrous composites for tissue engineering applications.

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Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry, and Science, NC State University, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Development of artificial matrices for tissue engineering is a crucial area of research in the field of regenerative medicine. Successful tissue scaffolds, in analogy with the natural mammalian extracellular matrix (ECM), are multi-component, fibrous, and on the nanoscale. In addition, to this key morphology, artificial scaffolds must have mechanical, chemical, surface, and electrical properties that match the ECM or basement membrane of the specific tissue desired. In particular, these material properties may vary significantly for the four primary tissues in the body: nerve, muscle, epithelial, and connective. In order to address this complex array of attributes with a polymeric material, a nanocomposite approach, employing a blend of materials, addition of a particle to enhance particular properties, or a surface treatment, is likely to be required. In this review, we examine nanocomposite approaches to address these diverse needs as a function of tissue type. The review is intended as a bridge between material scientists and biomedical researchers to give basic background information on tissue biology to the former, and on material processing approaches to the latter, in a general manner, and specifically review fibrous nanocomposite materials that have previously been used for cell studies, either in vivo or in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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