Corrugated round fibers to improve cell adhesion and proliferation in tissue engineering scaffolds
Optimal cell interaction with biomaterial scaffolds is one of the important requirements for the development of successful in vitro tissue-engineered tissues. Fast, efficient and spatially uniform cell adhesion can improve the clinical potential of engineered tissue. Three-dimensional (3-D) solid free form fabrication is one widely used scaffold fabrication technique today. By means of deposition of polymer fibers, scaffolds with various porosity, 3-D architecture and mechanical properties can be prepared. These scaffolds consist mostly of solid round fibers. In this study, it was hypothesized that a corrugated fiber morphology enhances cell adhesion and proliferation and therefore leads to the development of successful in vitro tissue-engineered constructs. Corrugated round fibers were prepared and characterized by extruding poly(ethylene oxide terephthalate)-co-poly(butylene terephthalate) (300PEOT55PBT45) block co-polymer through specially designed silicon wafer inserts. Corrugated round fibers with 6 and 10 grooves on the fiber surface were compared with solid round fibers of various diameters. The culture of mouse pre-myoblast (C2C12) cells on all fibers was studied under static and dynamic conditions by means of scanning electron microscopy, cell staining and DNA quantification. After 7 days of culturing under static conditions, the DNA content on the corrugated round fibers was approximately twice as high as that on the solid round fibers. Moreover, under dynamic culture conditions, the cells on the corrugated round fibers seemed to experience lower mechanical forces and therefore adhered better than on the solid round fibers. The results of this study show that the surface architecture of fibers in a tissue engineering scaffold can be used as a tool to improve the performance of the scaffold in terms of cell adhesion and proliferation.