Wet-spinning of biomedical polymers: from single-fibre production to additive manufacturing of three-dimensional scaffolds

Research paper by Dario Puppi, Federica Chiellini

Indexed on: 02 Mar '17Published on: 01 Feb '17Published in: Polymer International


Wet-spinning of polymeric materials has been widely investigated for various biomedical applications, such as extracorporeal blood treatment, controlled drug release and tissue engineering. This review is aimed at summarizing and assessing current advances in wet-spinning of biomedical polymers to manufacture single fibres and three-dimensional scaffolds, as well as their functionalization through loading with bioactive agents. The theoretical principles and the main technological aspects of fibre production by wet-spinning on either a laboratory or an industrial scale are outlined. The non-solvent-induced phase inversion determining polymer coagulation during the wet-spinning process is discussed by highlighting its influence on the resulting fibre morphology and how it can be exploited to induce a nano/microporosity in the solidified polymeric matrix. The versatility of wet-spinning in material selection, bioactive agent loading and fibre morphology tuning is underlined through an overview of significant literature reporting on the processing of various naturally derived and synthetic polymers. A special focus is given to cutting-edge advancements in the application of additive manufacturing principles to wet-spinning for enhanced control and reproducibility of three-dimensional polymeric scaffold morphology at different scale levels (i.e. macrostructural to micro/nanostructural features). © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry