Biomedical materials (Bristol, England)

Fabrication and characterization of multiscale electrospun scaffolds for cartilage regeneration.

PMID 23353096


Recently, scaffolds for tissue regeneration purposes have been observed to utilize nanoscale features in an effort to reap the cellular benefits of scaffold features resembling extracellular matrix (ECM) components. However, one complication surrounding electrospun nanofibers is limited cellular infiltration. One method to ameliorate this negative effect is by incorporating nanofibers into microfibrous scaffolds. This study shows that it is feasible to fabricate electrospun scaffolds containing two differently scaled fibers interspersed evenly throughout the entire construct as well as scaffolds containing fibers composed of two discrete materials, specifically fibrin and poly(ε-caprolactone). In order to accomplish this, multiscale fibrous scaffolds of different compositions were generated using a dual extrusion electrospinning setup with a rotating mandrel. These scaffolds were then characterized for fiber diameter, porosity and pore size and seeded with human mesenchymal stem cells to assess the influence of scaffold architecture and composition on cellular responses as determined by cellularity, histology and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content. Analysis revealed that nanofibers within a microfiber mesh function to maintain scaffold cellularity under serum-free conditions as well as aid the deposition of GAGs. This supports the hypothesis that scaffolds with constituents more closely resembling native ECM components may be beneficial for cartilage regeneration.