Nanofiber-based scaffolds for tissue engineering

Research paper by N. Ashammakhi, A. Ndreu, Y. Yang, H. Ylikauppila, L. Nikkola

Indexed on: 29 Jan '08Published on: 29 Jan '08Published in: European Journal of Plastic Surgery


For successful tissue engineering, it is essential to have as many biomimetic scaffolds as possible. With increasing interest in nanotechnology, development of nanofibers (n-fibers) by using the technique of electrospinning is having a new momentum. Among important potential applications of n-fiber-based scaffolds for tissue engineering represent an important advancing front. Nanoscaffolds (n-scaffolds) mimic natural extracellular matrix (ECM) and its nanoscale fibrous structure. With electrospinning, it is possible to develop submicron fibers from biodegradable polymers and these can also be used for developing multifunctional drug-releasing and bioactive scaffolds. Developed n-scaffolds are tested for their cytocompatibility using various cell models. In addition, they were seeded with cells for engineering tissue constructs. There is a large area ahead for further applications and development of these scaffolds. For instance, multifunctional scaffolds that can be used as controlled delivery system do have a potential and have yet to be investigated for improved engineering of various tissues. So far, there are only very few in vivo studies on n-scaffolds, but in the future many are expected to emerge. With the convergence of the fields of nanotechnology, drug release, and tissue engineering, new solutions could be found for the current limitations of tissue engineering. In this paper, nanoscaffolds developed by using electrospinning, used polymers so far, cytocompatibility and applications in tissue engineering are reviewed.