WEB 4D Biofabrication of fibrous shape memory polymers for neuron regeneration
The number of people who suffer from peripheral nerve injuries is increasing each year. Due to the low regeneration rate of neural tissue, when the nerve injury occurs most probably the injured person must face the disability for entire life. Current clinical practices such as the insertion of autograft, fall short due to the necessity of additional surgery for nerve segment collection. 4D biofabrication techniques have emerged as a popular set of methods for fabrication of scroll-like tubular constructs with high resolution and tunability[1-2].
We fabricated fibrous shape-morphing materials that can be used as artificial nerve guide conduict. Shape morphing materials are based on electrospun bilayer system consisting of uniaxially aligned polycaprolactone-poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS-PCL) and randomly aligned methacrylated hyaluronic acid (HA-MA). Various parameters as the thickness of each layer, overall bilayer thickness and counterion concentration in the medium can be used to adjust formed tubular structure diameter and introduce reversible folding of the system. During four weeks of real time degradation scroll-like tubular shape was kept. PC-12 neuron cells showed high proliferation and viability on designed scaffolds.
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