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Keywords:

  • 3D core–sheath electrospun scaffold;
  • spinal cord;
  • nanofiber;
  • nanoroughness

Abstract

Since spinal cord injury is a complicated problem, neural tissue repair, and regeneration strategies have received a great deal of attention. In this study, a three−dimensional (3D) nanofibrous core–sheath scaffold with nanorough sheath and aligned core were fabricated by a combined electrospinning method with water vortex and two−nozzle system. In vitro and in vivo biological tests were carried out on the poly(lactic−co−glycolic acid) (PLGA) scaffolds. The cell morphology and proliferation evaluation of nerve cells on 3D PLGA scaffolds were studied. Cells were properly orientated along the aligned fiber direction of the scaffold. In animal studies, adult rats received a complete lateral hemisection at the T9–T10 level. Scaffolds were engrafted to bridge 3 mm defects of 10 adult rat spinal cords; 10 rats were used as controls. For 8 weeks, motor and sensory recovery by open field locomotor scale, narrow beam and tail flick tests were assessed. Locomotor and sensory scores of grafted animals were significantly better than the control group. Histological findings demonstrated that the scaffold supports the axonal regeneration of injured spinal cords and regenerating axons were seen to enter the graft and extend along its length. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 102A: 506–513, 2014.