Nanofiber alignement and orientation enhances cell migration and wound healing
K. Kurpinski, S. Patel and S. Li
University of California Berkeley, US
nanofibers, electrospinning, wound healing, alignment
Wound healing is a complex process requiring coordination of several biological responses, including ingrowth of cells, organization of extracellular matrix, regulation of inflammation, and rapid wound coverage to prevent infection. However, this latter intrinsic “repair” mechanism often dominates over “regeneration,” resulting in the formation of disorganized scar tissue instead of well-ordered skin. To combat this problem, polymer “nanofibers” with micro/nano scale properties may provide topographical cues to direct cell alignment and matrix architecture for enhanced wound healing. In this study, we created nanofibrous poly-L-lactide (PLLA) meshes with nanofibers oriented either randomly in all directions or aligned in a single direction. We show that nanofiber alignment has a profound effect on the morphology and migration of cells when compared to randomly oriented fibers. Additionally, by creating an artificial “wound” or “gap defect” in a fibroblast monolayer on a nanofibrous mesh in vitro, we show that cellular migration and wound coverage are greatly enhanced when nanofibers are oriented across (perpendicular to) the long edges of the wound compared to when they are oriented randomly or parallel to the wound. This study has profound implications for nanofibrous tissue engineering strategies to treat wounds resulting from trauma, surgery, burns, and ulcers.
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Nanotech 2007 Conference Program Abstract