Exploring cellular adhesion and differentiation in a micro-/nano-hybrid polymer scaffold

Biotechnol Prog. May-Jun 2010;26(3):838-46. doi: 10.1002/btpr.391.


Polymer scaffolds play an important role in three dimensional (3-D) cell culture and tissue engineering. To best mimic the archiecture of natural extracellular matrix (ECM), a nano-fibrous and micro-porous combined (NFMP) scaffold was fabricated by combining phase separation and particulate leaching techniques. The NFMP scaffold possesses architectural features at two levels, including the micro-scale pores and nano-scale fibers. To evaluate the advantages of micro/nano combination, control scaffolds with only micro-pores or nano-fibers were fabricated. Cell grown in NFMP and control scaffolds were characterized with respect to morphology, proliferation rate, diffentiation and adhesion. The NFMP scaffold combined the advantages of micro- and nano-scale structures. The NFMP scaffold nano-fibers promoted neural differentiation and induced "3-D matrix adhesion", while the NFMP scaffold micro-pores facilitated cell infiltration. This study represents a systematic comparison of cellular activities on micro-only, nano-only and micro/nano combined scaffolds, and demonstrates the unique advantages of the later.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion*
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Humans
  • Materials Testing
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Nanostructures / chemistry
  • Nanostructures / ultrastructure*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Porosity
  • Shear Strength
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*