Nano Science and Technology Institute

U Penn Scientists Develop Novel Composite Nanofibers for Orthopaedic Use

By: Jennifer Rocha

These biomaterials created by the researchers could lead to the creation of actual three-dimensional tissue.

The scientists at Penn Medicine created the nano composites through combining a unique, slow-degrading polymer with a water-soluble one; both fiber types can each be removed to either increase or decrease the spacing between the fibers. The research team’s textile can be tailored for medical applications, allowing for cells to be added or implanted directly into damaged tissue for neighboring cells to colonize.

The researchers Robert Mauck, PhD, and Brendon Baker, PhD, believe this is a significant advance in the engineering of load-bearing fibrous tissues, and someday their nanofibers could be used in applications for regenerative medicine.  The team’s work was supported by the NIH, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and the VA.

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