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J Biomed Nanotechnol. 2014 Aug;10(8):1588-98.

Improvement of cell infiltration in electrospun polycaprolactone scaffolds for the construction of vascular grafts.


The less-than-ideal cell infiltration resulting from inherently small pore size limits the application of electrospinning scaffold in tissue engineering and regeneration medicine. The present study aims to develop a porogenic method which can significantly increase pore size in electrospinning scaffold and enhance cell migration. With this method, composite scaffolds consisting of poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL) fibers and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) microparticles were prepared by simultaneously electrospinning and electrospraying. Removal of the PEO microparticles from the composites generated large pores. In vitro culture of NIH3T3 cells and in vivo subcutaneous implantation both demonstrated that the porogenic scaffolds markedly facilitated cell infiltration. With the same technique, vascular grafts with alternative dense and loose layers were prepared by turning on or off electrospraying PEO. SEM showed that there was no a clear delamination between the loose and dense layers. The mechanical strength and burst pressure of these vascular grafts could meet the requirements of vascular implantation. In conclusion, electrospinning PCL fibers with electrospraying PEO microparticles may be an effective and controllable method to increase pore size in electrospinning scaffold and provides a useful tool for the fabrication of vascular grafts that meets the need of blood vessel replacement.

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