Because of a shortage of autologous vascular tissue for transplant procedures, in recent years, researchers and surgeons have turned to to synthetic options to achieve biocompatible vascular graft suitable for therapy. Achieving optimal physicochemical behavior of tissue engineered-scaffolds has been a significant challenge, however, as new technologies have had to adapt to the sophisticated needs of three-dimensional tissue.
Now, an interesting new development in scaffold-based tissue engineering appeared: Authors led by Quingxi Hu at Shanghai University described the creation of composite multi-layer vascular channels formed by both micro-imprinting and electrospinning.
The term “multi-layer” here refers to the generation of two electrospun layers of chitosan and polyvinyl alcohol which surround a middle later of micro-imprinted poly-p-dioxanone.
The “sheet” was rolled into a tube to create a vessel-like 3D structure.
Image of the finished 3D stucture.
The use of both electrospinning and micro-imprinting generated a rigid structure with a higher tensile and radial strength.
The authors demonstrated that the new scafffold promoted cell proliferation of rat fibrloblasts seeded on the scaffold over 21 days of culture, and the hydrophilic surface yielded good biocompatibility.
As more complex applications call for more sophisticated tissue engineering products, composite approaches like the one described in this paper appear as innovative solutions to these problems. There is still a ways to go before this scaffold reaches the clinic, but we are excited to see new applications of novel electrospinning-based fabrication approaches.
Akron has been a pioneer of electrospinning – our capabilities of creating custom shapes of electrospun tissue in a variety of polymers are the result of extensive research and development efforts that are now being expanded into more process-intensive and sophisticated applications. If you have any questions about any of these processes, contact us.