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Patterned nanofiber meshes for biomedical applications

N.M. Neves, R. Campos, A. Pedro, J. Cunha, F. Macedo and R.L. Reis
University of Minho, PT

Keywords:
biomaterials, biomedical, electrospinning, fiber meshes

Abstract:
The typical end-product of the electrospinning process is a randomly aligned fibre mesh or membrane. This is a result of the electric field generated between the drop of polymer solution at the needle and the collector. The developed electric field causes the stretching of the fibres and its random deposition.
The aim of this work is to prepare fibre meshes using various patterns with specific dimensions and designs and to evaluate how those patterns can affect the properties of the meshes. The underlying hypothesis addressed in this study is if it is possible to control the architecture of the fibre meshes by tailoring the geometry of the collector. To test this hypothesis, four different collectors were used.
Electrospun nonwoven patterned meshes of polyethylene oxide (PEO) and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) were successfully prepared. Those fibre meshes were imaged with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Both mechanical properties of the meshes and cell contacting experiments were performed to test the effect of the produced patterns over the properties of the meshes relevant for biomedical applications. The present study will evaluate the cell adhesion sensitivity to the patterns generated and the effect of those patterns on the tensile properties of the fibre meshes.

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