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Creation of macropores in electrospun silk fibroin scaffolds using sacrificial PEO-microparticles to enhance cellular infiltration

Authors

  • Kai Wang,

    1. The Key Laboratory of Bioactive Materials, Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, People's Republic of China
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Meng Xu,

    1. The Key Laboratory of Bioactive Materials, Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, People's Republic of China
    2. Department of Chemistry, Chemical Biology and Biomedical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Meifeng Zhu,

    1. The Key Laboratory of Bioactive Materials, Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, People's Republic of China
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  • Hong Su,

    1. Tianjin University of Science and Technology, College of Chemical Engineering, Tianjin 300070, People's Republic of China
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  • Hongjun Wang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, Chemical Biology and Biomedical Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030
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  • Deling Kong,

    1. The Key Laboratory of Bioactive Materials, Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, People's Republic of China
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  • Lianyong Wang

    Corresponding author
    1. The Key Laboratory of Bioactive Materials, Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, People's Republic of China
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Abstract

Electrospun scaffolds are widely used in tissue engineering; however, a common problem is the poor cell infiltration because of the small pore size and tightly packed structure of these fibrous scaffolds. To address this issue, a novel technique was developed to fabricate electrospun silk fibroin (SF) scaffolds with rather macropores and high porosity using electrospraying-generated PEO microparticles as porogen. The morphology and pore size of MPES scaffolds were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy. It was revealed that MPES scaffold had a relatively loose structure with an increase of mean pore size (i.e., approx. 30 μm of MPES vs. approx. 5 μm of traditional electrospun scaffolds (TES) and porosity (i.e., 95% vs. 84% of TES). Culture of mouse 3T3 fibroblast in TES and MPES scaffold revealed that both scaffolds could support cell attachment, spread and proliferation. Yet, cell inflitration in vitro under the static culture condition only occurred in the MPES scaffold. Subcutaneous implantation of scaffolds in rats further confirmed that the tissue ingrowth was more efficient in the MPES scaffold compared to TES scaffold. Thus, the use of PEO microparticles as porogen was a feasible and effective method for creating macroporous electrospun SF scaffold, which provided an alternative to address the limitation of cell infiltration associated with electrospun fibrous scaffold. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 101A: 3474–3481, 2013.

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