• coaxial aerodynamically assisted bio-threading;
  • primary living cells;
  • biologically active threads and scaffolds;
  • regenerative medicine;
  • flow cytometry


In a recent discovery, coaxial electrospinning was explored to encapsulate living organisms within a continuous bio-polymeric microthread from which active biological scaffolds were fabricated (Townsend-Nicholson and Jayasinghe, Biomacromolecules 2006, 7, 3364). The cells were demonstrated to have gone through all expected cellular activity without their viability being compromised. These biologically active threads and scaffolds have direct and tremendous applicability from regenerative to therapeutic medicine. Currently these post-processed cells as composite threads and scaffolds are being investigated in-depth at a cellular level to establish if the processing methodology has any affect on the cellular make-up. We now demonstrate a competing non-electric field driven approach for fabricating composite threads and scaffolds influenced only by a differential pressure. We refer to this novel composite thread to scaffold fabrication methodology as coaxial aerodynamically assisted bio-threading (CAABT). Our investigations firstly, demonstrate that this technique can process handle living organisms without biologically perturbing them in anyway. Secondly the process is elucidated as possessing the ability to form composite active threads from which biologically viable scaffolds are formed. Finally our study employs florescent activated cell sorting (FACScan), a method by which the cellular dynamics and viability are quantified on control and threaded cellular samples at two prescribed time points. In parallel with FACScan, optical comparison of cellular morphology at three time points within a period of three weeks is carried out to photographically observe any changes in the post-processed cellular phenotype. Our developmental investigations into this novel aerodynamically assisted threading methodology has unearthed a unique biomicrofabrication approach, which joins cell electrospinning in the cell threading to scaffold fabrication endeavor. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2008