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Biodegradable scaffold fabricated of electrospun albumin fibers: mechanical and biological characterization.

Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2012 Aug 10;

Authors: Nseir N, Regev O, Kaully T, Blumenthal J, Levenberg S, Zussman E


Natural polymers share recognition sequences that promote cell adhesion, rendering them attractive candidates for scaffolding in tissue engineering applications. Yet, challenges remain with respect to fabrication of robust and porous structures of such raw materials for design of extracellular matrix (ECM) mimics of living tissues. In this study, we present a fibrous scaffold comprised solely of albumin, the most abundant protein in mammalian blood plasma. The scaffold was fabricated using the electrospinning method, and resulted in micro-scale fibers that demonstrated mechanical properties similar to those of elastin fibers, a common component of connective tissue ECM. Albumin scaffolds proved non-toxic and supported adhesion and spreading of fibroblasts, muscle cells, and endothelial cells (ECs) in vitro. In vivo studies demonstrated approximately 50% biodegradation of the albumin scaffolds within three weeks of implantation. In addition, it was found that the fibers were encapsulated by dense fibrosis and evoked a weak inflammatory response, similar to that triggered by poly(L-lactide)/poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) scaffolds. Albumin tubular structures fabricated to mimic blood vessels, successfully guided the formation of blood vessel-like bi-layer structures made of fibroblasts and ECs. Thus, albumin scaffolds featuring biologically relevant characteristics, pose a readily applicable alternative to synthetic scaffolding materials.

PMID: 22881713 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]