ACS nano

Spatiotemporal oxygen sensing using dual emissive boron dye-polylactide nanofibers.

PMID 25426706


Oxygenation in tissue scaffolds continues to be a limiting factor in regenerative medicine despite efforts to induce neovascularization or to use oxygen-generating materials. Unfortunately, many established methods to measure oxygen concentration, such as using electrodes, require mechanical disturbance of the tissue structure. To address the need for scaffold-based oxygen concentration monitoring, a single-component, self-referenced oxygen sensor was made into nanofibers. Electrospinning process parameters were tuned to produce a biomaterial scaffold with specific morphological features. The ratio of an oxygen sensitive phosphorescence signal to an oxygen insensitive fluorescence signal was calculated at each image pixel to determine an oxygenation value. A single component boron dye-polymer conjugate was chosen for additional investigation due to improved resistance to degradation in aqueous media compared to a boron dye polymer blend. Standardization curves show that in fully supplemented media, the fibers are responsive to dissolved oxygen concentrations less than 15 ppm. Spatial (millimeters) and temporal (minutes) ratiometric gradients were observed in vitro radiating outward from the center of a dense adherent cell grouping on scaffolds. Sensor activation in ischemia and cell transplant models in vivo show oxygenation decreases on the scale of minutes. The nanofiber construct offers a robust approach to biomaterial scaffold oxygen sensing.