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Interwoven Aligned Conductive Nanofiber Yarn/Hydrogel Composite Scaffolds for Engineered 3D Cardiac Anisotropy

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posted on 06.06.2017, 20:14 by Yaobin Wu, Ling Wang, Baolin Guo, Peter X Ma
Mimicking the anisotropic cardiac structure and guiding 3D cellular orientation play a critical role in designing scaffolds for cardiac tissue regeneration. Significant advances have been achieved to control cellular alignment and elongation, but it remains an ongoing challenge for engineering 3D cardiac anisotropy using these approaches. Here, we present a 3D hybrid scaffold based on aligned conductive nanofiber yarns network (NFYs-NET, composition: polycaprolactone, silk fibroin, and carbon nanotubes) within a hydrogel shell for mimicking the native cardiac tissue structure, and further demonstrate their great potential for engineering 3D cardiac anisotropy for cardiac tissue engineering. The NFYs-NET structures are shown to control cellular orientation and enhance cardiomyocytes (CMs) maturation. 3D hybrid scaffolds were then fabricated by encapsulating NFYs-NET layers within hydrogel shell, and these 3D scaffolds performed the ability to promote aligned and elongated CMs maturation on each layer and individually control cellular orientation on different layers in a 3D environment. Furthermore, endothelialized myocardium was constructed by using this hybrid strategy via the coculture of CMs on NFYs-NET layer and endothelial cells within hydrogel shell. Therefore, these 3D hybrid scaffolds, containing NFYs-NET layer inducing cellular orientation, maturation, and anisotropy and hydrogel shell providing a suitable 3D environment for endothelialization, has great potential in engineering 3D cardiac anisotropy.