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APPLICATIONS OF ELECTROSPUN NANOFIBERS

Electrospun Nanofibers in Tissue Engineering

A wide variety ofmethods have been reported in the literature for the fabrication oftissue engineering scaffolds [47]. Electrospun NF scaffolds have exhibited an excellent cell growing capability. Biocompatible and biodegradable NFs are generally preferred over conventional scaffolds because of their ability to provide a native environment for tissue regeneration. It is initiated by cellular adhesion to the matrix or neighboring cells.

Most tissues and cells are underlain or surrounded by a natural extracellular matrix (ECM). These tissues are able to organize cells into the ECM, facilitate cell migrations, activate signal transduction pathways, and coordinate cellular functions. NFs have a unique ability of mimicking ECM of the target cell and tissues [48,49].

Among the synthetic polymers, PLGA is considered to be the ideal material for tissue regeneration because of its biodegradable nature, easy spinnability, and multiple focal adhesion points. The results revealed that PCL electrospun NF scaffolds could enhance MC3T3-E1 preosteoblast cell adhesion and proliferation as well as assistance in the cell [50]. The limitations of electrospun NF in tissue engineering can be overcome by generating a 3D instead of 2D environment. Three-dimensional scaffolds have more exposed inner surface area and pore size allowing enhanced infiltration of the cell compared with the 2D conventional scaffold. Attempts have been made to fabricate larger intrafiber pore size to allow the scaffolds to be present as 3D instead ofa 2D environment. Three dimensional scaffolds may be fabricated by combining multiple polymers, i.e., NFs [51]. Various solubility and stretching properties render the polymers in the flight between the needle and collector. The controlled large intrafiber pore size will result in the infiltration of cells into the electrospun blended NF scaffold. Due to wettability of the polymer blends a unique construct may be prepared, which promotes cell infiltration and adhesion. Electrospun NF is one of the examples of 3D scaffolds offering several applications in tissue engineering such as vascular grafts, nerve regeneration, and bone regeneration.

 
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