Tissue Engineering Scaffolds

Polymeric nanofiber matrix has similar structure to nanoscaled nonwoven fibrous ECM proteins, and thus is a wonderful candidate for ECM-mimic materials [4]. In recent years, the ease of polymer nanofiber fabrication using electrospinning began to stimulate more and more researchers to explore the application of nanofiber matrix as a tissue engineering scaffold [5-8]. A successful tissue engineering scaffold should have cell-compatible surfaces to allow cell attachment and proliferation. Based on the understanding of the "biorecognition" mechanism [9] of the interaction between cells and biomaterial surfaces, most research work to improve biocompatibilities of polymeric tissue engineering scaffold center on immobilization of biomolecules that can be specifically recognized by cells on the biomaterial surfaces. These biomolecules include adhesive proteins such as collagen, fibronectin, RGD peptides, and growth factors such as bFGF, EGF, insulin, and the like. The biomolecules can either be covalently attached, statically adsorbed, or self-assembled on the biomaterial surfaces. Such kinds of surface modification can preserve the good mechanical strength of nanofibers while giving the nanofibers improved cell adhesion propeties.

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