We developed a novel technique involving knitting and electrospinning to fabricate a composite scaffold for ligament tissue engineering. Knitted structures were coated with poly(L-lactic-co-e-caprolactone) (PLCL) and then placed onto a rotating cylinder and a PLCL solution was electrospun onto the structure. Highly aligned 2-μm-diameter microfibers covered the space between the stitches and adhered to the knitted scaffolds. The stress-strain tensile curves exhibited an initial toe region similar to the tensile behavior of ligaments. Composite scaffolds had an elastic modulus (150 ± 14 MPa) similar to the modulus of human ligaments. Biological evaluation showed that cells proliferated on the composite scaffolds and they spontaneously orientated along the direction of microfiber alignment. The microfiber architecture also induced a high level of extracellular matrix secretion, which was characterized by immunostaining. We found that cells produced collagen type I and type III, two main components found in ligaments. After 14 days of culture, collagen type III started to form a fibrous network. We fabricated a composite scaffold having the mechanical properties of the knitted structure and the morphological properties of the aligned microfibers. It is difficult to seed a highly macroporous structure with cells, however the technique we developed enabled an easy cell seeding due to presence of the microfiber layer. Therefore, these scaffolds presented attractive properties for a future use in bioreactors for ligament tissue engineering.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Sep 2010|
- Composite scaffolds
- Ligament tissue engineering