Electrospun Extracellular Matrix: Paving the Way to Tailor-Made Natural Scaffolds for Cardiac Tissue Regeneration

Research paper by Beth Schoen, Ron Avrahami, Limor Baruch, Yael Efraim, Idit Goldfracht, Ofek Elul, Tzila Davidov, Lior Gepstein, Eyal Zussman, Marcelle Machluf

Indexed on: 20 Jul '17Published on: 18 Jul '17Published in: Advanced Functional Materials


Biomimetic scaffolds generally aim at structurally and compositionally imitating native tissue, thus providing a supportive microenvironment to the transplanted or recruited cells in the tissue. Native decellularized porcine extracellular matrix (ECM) is becoming the ultimate bioactive material for the regeneration of different organs. Particularly for cardiac regeneration, ECM is studied as a patch and injectable scaffolds, which improve cardiac function, yet lack reproducibility and are difficult to control or fine-tune for the desired properties, like most natural materials. Seeking to harness the natural advantages of ECM in a reproducible, scalable, and controllable scaffold, for the first time, a matrix that is produced from whole decellularized porcine cardiac ECM using electrospinning technology, is developed. This unique electrospun cardiac ECM mat preserves the composition of ECM, self-assembles into the same microstructure of cardiac ECM ,and ,above all, preserves key cardiac mechanical properties. It supports cell growth and function, and demonstrates biocompatibility in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, this work reveals the great potential of electrospun ECM-based platforms for a wide span of biomedical applications, thus offering the possibility to produce complex natural materials as tailor-made, well-defined structures.