Opportunely arranged micro/nano-scaled fibers represent an extremely attractive architecture for tissue engineering, as they offer an intrinsically porous structure, a high available surface, and an ideal microtopography for guiding cell migration. When fibers are made with naturally occurring polymers, matrices that closely mimic the architecture of the native extra-cellular matrix and offer specific chemical cues can be obtained. Along this track, electrospinning of collagen or gelatin is a typical and effective combination to easily prepare fibrous scaffolds with excellent properties in terms of biocompatibility and biomimicry, but an appropriate cross-linking strategy is required. Many common protocols involve the use of swelling solvents and can result in significant impairment of fibrous morphology and porosity. As a consequence, the efforts for processing gelatin into a fiber network can be vain, as a film-like morphology will be eventually presented to cells. However, this appears to be a frequently overlooked aspect. Here, the effect on fiber morphology of common cross-linking protocols was analyzed, and different strategies to improve the final morphology were evaluated (including alternative solvents, cross-linker concentration, mechanical constraint, and evaporation conditions). Finally, an optimized, fiber-preserving protocol based on carbodiimide (EDC) chemistry was defined.

Cross-linking optimization for electrospun gelatin: Challenge of preserving fiber topography

Campiglio C. E.;Ponzini S.;De Stefano P.;Ortoleva G.;Draghi L.
2020

Abstract

Opportunely arranged micro/nano-scaled fibers represent an extremely attractive architecture for tissue engineering, as they offer an intrinsically porous structure, a high available surface, and an ideal microtopography for guiding cell migration. When fibers are made with naturally occurring polymers, matrices that closely mimic the architecture of the native extra-cellular matrix and offer specific chemical cues can be obtained. Along this track, electrospinning of collagen or gelatin is a typical and effective combination to easily prepare fibrous scaffolds with excellent properties in terms of biocompatibility and biomimicry, but an appropriate cross-linking strategy is required. Many common protocols involve the use of swelling solvents and can result in significant impairment of fibrous morphology and porosity. As a consequence, the efforts for processing gelatin into a fiber network can be vain, as a film-like morphology will be eventually presented to cells. However, this appears to be a frequently overlooked aspect. Here, the effect on fiber morphology of common cross-linking protocols was analyzed, and different strategies to improve the final morphology were evaluated (including alternative solvents, cross-linker concentration, mechanical constraint, and evaporation conditions). Finally, an optimized, fiber-preserving protocol based on carbodiimide (EDC) chemistry was defined.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1151530
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