Nanofibrous hydrogel composites as mechanically robust tissue engineering scaffolds.


Type
Article
Change log
Authors
Butcher, Annabel L 
Offeddu, Giovanni S 
Oyen, Michelle L 
Abstract

Hydrogels closely resemble the extracellular matrix (ECM) and can support cell proliferation while new tissue is formed, making them materials of choice as tissue engineering scaffolds. However, their sometimes-poor mechanical properties can hinder their application. The addition of meshes of nanofibers embedded in their matrix forms a composite that draws from the advantages of both components. Given that these materials are still in the early stages of development, there is a lack of uniformity across methods for characterizing their mechanical properties. Here, we propose a simple metric to enable comparisons between materials. The fibrous constituent improves the mechanical properties of the hydrogel, while the biocompatibility and functionality of the gels are maintained or even improved.

Description
Keywords
biocompatibility, composites, electrospinning, hydrogel, mechanical testing, nanofibers, Biomechanical Phenomena, Chemical Phenomena, Humans, Hydrogel, Polyethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate, Nanofibers, Tissue Engineering, Tissue Scaffolds
Journal Title
Trends Biotechnol
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
0167-7799
1879-3096
Volume Title
32
Publisher
Elsevier BV
Sponsorship
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/G037221/1)
The authors acknowledge the support of the EPSRC through a doctoral training award (ALB) and via the Nano Science and Technology Doctoral Training Centre (NanoDTC), EP/G037221/1 (GSO).