Guiding newly generated tissues in a gradient pattern, thereby precisely mimicking inherent tissue morphology and subsequently arranging the intimate networks between adjacent tissues, is essential to raise the technical levels of tissue engineering and facilitate its transition into the clinic. In this study, a straightforward electrospinning method (the tubing-electrospinning technique) was developed to create fibrous matrices readily with diverse gradient patterns and to induce patterned cellular responses. Gradient fibrous matrices can be produced simply by installing a series of polymer-containing lengths of tubing into an electrospinning circuit and sequentially processing polymers without a time lag. The loading of polymer samples with different characteristics, including concentration, wettability, and mechanical properties, into the tubing system enabled unique features in fibrous matrices, such as longitudinal gradients in fiber density, surface properties, and mechanical stiffness. The resulting fibrous gradients were shown to arrange cellular migration and residence in a gradient manner, thereby offering efficient cues to mediate patterned tissue formation. The one-step process using tubing-electrospinning apparatus can be used without significant modifications regardless of the type of fibrous gradient. Hence, the tubing-electrospinning system can serve as a platform that can be readily used by a wide-range of users to induce patterned tissue formation in a gradient manner, which will ultimately improve the functionality of tissue engineering scaffolds.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)