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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2012 Sep 26;4(9):4817-24. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

Uniaxially aligned nanofibrous cylinders by electrospinning.

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Department of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


Aligned nanofibers have drawn increasing interest for applications in biomedical engineering, electronics, and energy storage systems owing to the unique physicochemical properties provided by their anisotropy and high surface-to-volume ratio. Nevertheless, direct fabrication or assembly of aligned nanofibers into a 3-dimensional standalone construct with practically applicable dimensions presents an enormous challenge. We report a facile method to fabricate aligned nanofibrous cylinders, a widely used geometric form, by electrospinning aligned nanofibers across the gap between a pair of pin electrodes placed apart uniaxially. With this approach, cylindrical nanofibrous constructs of several millimeters in diameter and several centimeters in length can be readily produced. The versatility of the approach was demonstrated with several commonly used polymeric and ceramic materials, including polycaprolactone (PCL), chitosan/PCL, polyvinylidene fluoride, and titania. For a model application in tissue engineering, skeletal muscle cells were cultured on nanofibrous cylinders, which effectively produced highly aligned and densely populated myotubes along the nanofiber orientation, favorable for muscle tissue regeneration. With high structural integrity and stability, these can be directly integrated into devices or implanted in vivo as a standalone construct without the support of a substrate, thus increasing the portability, efficiency, and applicability of aligned nanofibers.


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