Full-field strain distribution in hierarchical electrospun nanofibrous poly-L(lactic) acid/collagen scaffolds for tendon and ligament regeneration: A multiscale study

Heliyon. 2024 Feb 24;10(5):e26796. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e26796. eCollection 2024 Mar 15.


Regeneration of injured tendons and ligaments (T/L) is a worldwide need. In this study electrospun hierarchical scaffolds made of a poly-L (lactic) acid/collagen blend were developed reproducing all the multiscale levels of aggregation of these tissues. Scanning electron microscopy, microCT and tensile mechanical tests were carried out, including a multiscale digital volume correlation analysis to measure the full-field strain distribution of electrospun structures. The principal strains (εp1 and εp3) described the pattern of strains caused by the nanofibers rearrangement, while the deviatoric strains (εD) revealed the related internal sliding of nanofibers and bundles. The results of this study confirmed the biomimicry of such electrospun hierarchical scaffolds, paving the way to further tissue engineering and clinical applications.

Keywords: Digital volume correlation; Electrospinning; Hierarchical scaffolds; In situ mechanical tests; MicroCT; Tendons and ligaments.