Regulation of Cell/Tissue Responses by Mechanical Properties of Scaffolds

An ideal reinforcement material for medical applications should impart mechanical integrity to the composite without offsetting the biocompatibility of the bulk material [50]. Preferably, the addition of reinforcement material could improve the biocompatibility of the composite. Nanofibers and nanotubes are both featured with small dimensions and high aspect ratio (length to diameter). Their reinforcement role primarily comes from their high strength and stiffness, and high orientation [51-56]. The cell/tissue responses on nanofibers- or nanotubes-reinforced scaffolds are strongly affected by the wettability, architecture (fiber/tube size and alignment, pore structures) and mechanical properties of the scaffolds. The effects of wettability, fiber/tube size and alignment, and pore structure on protein adsorption and further on cell/tissue responses have been thoroughly discussed in Sect. 5.3. This section will pay more attentions to the effects of the mechanical properties. More particularly, an in-depth understanding of the potential mechanisms will be detailed regarding how the mechanical properties of scaffolds regulate the biocompatibility.

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