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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2010 Jun 15;93(4):1539-50. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.32645.

Growth factor delivery through electrospun nanofibers in scaffolds for tissue engineering applications.

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Tissue Repair Laboratory, Division of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117574, Singapore.


Tissue engineering scaffolds should ideally mimic the natural ECM in structure and function. Electrospun nanofibrous scaffolds are easily fabricated and possess a biomimetic nanostructure. Scaffolds can mimic ECM function by acting as a depot for sustained release of growth factors. bFGF, an important growth factor involved in tissue repair and mesenchymal stem cell proliferation and differentiation, is a suitable candidate for sustained delivery from scaffolds. In this study, we present two types of PLGA nanofibers incorporated with bFGF, fabricated using the facile technique of blending and electrospinning (Group I) and by the more complex technique of coaxial electrospinning (Group II). bFGF was randomly dispersed in Group I and distributed as a central core within Group II nanofibers; both scaffolds showed similar protein encapsulation efficiency and release over 1-2 weeks. Although both scaffold groups favored bone marrow stem cell attachment and subsequent proliferation, cells cultured on Group I scaffolds demonstrated increased collagen production and upregulated gene expression of specific ECM proteins, indicating fibroblastic differentiation. The study shows that the electrospinning technique could be used to prolong growth factor release from scaffolds and an appropriately sustained growth factor release profile in combination with a nanofibrous substrate could positively influence stem cell behavior and fate.

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