UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Biodegradable Cell-Seeded Nanofiber Scaffolds for Neural Repair Han, Dong; Cheung, Karen C.


Central and peripheral neural injuries are traumatic and can lead to loss of motor and sensory function, chronic pain, and permanent disability. Strategies that bridge the site of injury and allow axonal regeneration promise to have a large impact on restoring quality of life for these patients. Engineered materials can be used to guide axonal growth. Specifically, nanofiber structures can mimic the natural extracellular matrix, and aligned nanofibers have been shown to direct neurite outgrowth and support axon regeneration. In addition, cell-seeded scaffolds can assist in the remyelination of the regenerating axons. The electrospinning process allows control over fiber diameter, alignment, porosity, and morphology. Biodegradable polymers have been electrospun and their use in tissue engineering has been demonstrated. This paper discusses aspects of electrospun biodegradable nanofibers for neural regeneration, how fiber alignment affects cell alignment, and how cell-seeded scaffolds can increase the effectiveness of such implants.

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