Electrospinning for tissue repair

May 6, 2019

The topic of tissue repair is an important challenge in material science and nanotechnology research. Both the chemistry and structure of materials used in the body are known to play key roles in the ability of the body to regenerate lost tissue and heal effectively. Materials that mimic the hierarchical architecture and properties of native extracellular matrix (ECM) have been shown to promote the natural proliferation and differentiation of cells growing on and around them, and thereby enable tissue repair to take place.

tissue-repair-electrospinning-2Electrospinning is a highly versatile technology that is able to generate nano and micro-structured fibrous materials that closely resemble native ECM and is therefore an attractive technique for the development of synthetic “scaffolds” onto which cells can migrate, proliferate and differentiate to enable tissue repair.  Not only does electrospinning enable the creation of ECM-like architectures, but it also allows for a wide variety of materials to be used, including biocompatible synthetic polymers, natural biopolymers, proteins and inorganic materials. Additionally, it is also possible to incorporate active ingredients such as growth factors, antimicrobials, or other pharmaceuticals during the process. This means that the chemical and physical properties of the electrospun scaffolds can be selected to meet the specific requirements of the tissue repair application (e.g. bone, skin, tendon, cornea, nerve, blood vessel etc.). For instance, the rate at which the synthetic scaffold is resorbed by the body can be controlled and matched to the rate of tissue repair. For wound healing, for example, it may be desirable for the scaffold to be resorbed and replaced with new tissue within days or weeks, whereas in tendon regeneration the synthetic scaffold would need to provide mechanical strength for many months, until the newly formed tendon is able to withstand the forces that are applied in normal function.

tissue-repair-electrospinningBy controlling the deposition of electrospun fibers during the process, different structures can be achieved to suit each application, from randomly oriented fibers for skin or bone regeneration, to highly aligned fibers for cardiac repair patches, tendon scaffolds, or nerve guides. One important consideration in the design of a scaffold for tissue repair is whether or not cells should be able to penetrate throughout the scaffold. Electrospinning enables the creation of both nanofibrous membranes with pore sizes too small for cells to penetrate, but large enough for nutrients to flow though, as well as more open structures that cells can migrate through in three dimensions.

The control that electrospinning provides over fiber diameter, alignment, porosity and composition, means that it has great potential for a wide range of regenerative medicine applications. Some examples include: resorbable guided tissue regeneration (GTR) membranes, which separate the soft tissue from the implanted bone graft material in periodontal bone regeneration; dural repair membranes; vascular grafts; cardiac tissue repair patches; bone defect fillers; tendon grafts; and wound dressing materials. In each case, the synthetic electrospun material provides the necessary mechanical support and the microstructural cues that encourage cells to remodel naturally and achieve a functional tissue repair.

About Bioinicia

Bioinicia are specialists in the electrospinning and electrospraying processes (EHD), and world-leading providers of premium-quality, climate-controlled electrospinning and electrospraying equipment.  Offering Contract Research and Development services and Contract Manufacturing of electrospun and electrosprayed materials under GMP and ISO13485 certification means that we can assist you at any stage in your tissue repair research and development.

Simply leverage our expertise in the electrospinning for gum tissue regeneration, from laboratory research to industrial manufacture, and advance the development of your future generation of products to the next level.

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