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Synergistic Effects of Conductive Three-Dimensional Nanofibrous Microenvironments and Electrical Stimulation on the Viability and Proliferation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 09.09.2016 by Lin Jin, Qinwei Xu, Shuyi Wu, Shreyas Kuddannaya, Cheng Li, Jingbin Huang, Yilei Zhang, Zhenling Wang
In recent years, three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds have proven to be highly advantageous in mammalian cell culture and tissue engineering compared to 2D substrates. Herein, we demonstrated the fabrication of novel 3D core–shell nanofibers (3D-CSNFs) using an improved electrospinning process combined with in situ surface polymerization. The obtained 3D nanofibrous scaffold displayed excellent mechanical and electrical properties. Moreover, the cotton-like 3D structure with large internal connected pores (20–100 μm) enabled cells to easily infiltrate into the interior of the 3D scaffold with a good spatial distribution to mimic the ECM-like cell microenvironments. Stable cell–fiber composite constructs were formed in the 3D-CSNFs with relatively higher adhesion and viability compared to 2D-CSNFs. Furthermore, the human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) cultured on conductive polymer coated electrically active 3D nanofibers responded with a healthy morphology and anchorage on the fibers with relatively higher viability and proliferation under electrical stimulation (ES). This study demonstrates the successful fabrication of 3D-CSNFs and the constructive interaction of the 3D microenvironment and subsequent electrical stimulations on hMSCs, thereby holding promising potential in tissue engineering and regenerative therapies aided by electro-stimulation-based differentiation strategies.