New method of microfiber fabrication for single-cell studies and tissue engineering
Technique shows promise for use in research of neural stem cells
Researchers from Iowa State University (IA, USA) have developed a new method of microfiber fabrication which supports cell growth and could have utility as a tool for nerve and damaged tissue regeneration.
The novel method employs microfluidic fabrication methods to pump polycaprolactone through tiny channels to produce microfibers between 2.6 and 36.5 µm in in diameter. The resulting fibers are flexible, biocompatible and biodegradable. In addition, their shapes and surface patterns can be controlled.
“Our approach to fiber fabrication is unique,” explained author Nastaran Hashemi. “There is no high voltage, high pressure or high temperatures. And so one day I think we can encapsulate cells within our fibers without damaging them. We employ hydrodynamic forces to influence the orientation of molecules for the fabrication of these fiber structures that have different properties along different directions.”
The researchers subsequently demonstrated that neural stem cells were able to attach and align on their microfiber scaffold. This project is being funded by the US Office of Naval Research in the hope that the scaffolds being developed will allow study and one day aid repair of nerves damaged by traumatic brain injury.
Written by Hannah Wilson
Source: Iowa State University News Release www.news.iastate.edu/news/2016/10/05/microfibers