Sliding Fibers: Slidable, Injectable, and Gel-like Electrospun Nanofibers as Versatile Cell Carriers
mediaposted on 17.02.2016, 00:00 by Slgirim Lee, Seokhwan Yun, Kook In Park, Jae-Hyung Jang
Designing biomaterial systems that can mimic fibrous, natural extracellular matrix is crucial for enhancing the efficacy of various therapeutic tools. Herein, a smart technology of three-dimensional electrospun fibers that can be injected in a minimally invasive manner was developed. Open surgery is currently the only route of administration of conventional electrospun fibers into the body. Coordinating electrospun fibers with a lubricating hydrogel produced fibrous constructs referred to as slidable, injectable, and gel-like (SLIDING) fibers. These SLIDING fibers could pass smoothly through a catheter and fill any cavity while maintaining their fibrous morphology. Their injectable features were derived from their distinctive rheological characteristics, which were presumably caused by the combinatorial effects of mobile electrospun fibers and lubricating hydrogels. The resulting injectable fibers fostered a highly favorable environment for human neural stem cell (hNSC) proliferation and neurosphere formation within the fibrous structures without compromising hNSC viability. SLIDING fibers demonstrated superior performance as cell carriers in animal stroke models subjected to the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) stroke model. In this model, SLIDING fiber application extended the survival rate of administered hNSCs by blocking microglial infiltration at the early, acute inflammatory stage. The development of SLIDING fibers will increase the clinical significance of fiber-based scaffolds in many biomedical fields and will broaden their applicability.