Can Damaged Tendons be Repaired using Electrospun Biopolymer Nanofibres?

L. Bosworth, Sandra Downes

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


    Title: Can damaged tendons be repaired using electrospun biopolymer nanofibres? Author(s): Lucy A Bosworth, Sandra DownesAffiliation(s): School of Materials, University of Manchester, Grosvenor Street, Manchester, M1 7HS, UKAbstract:Tendon disease and injuries are caused by trauma, sport injuries and orthopaedic pathology. Current therapies are often ineffective with on-going pain, scarring and tissue degeneration. With no other synthetic, biodegradable tendon repair device available for clinical use, we have developed an electrospun 3D fibrous scaffold, with purposeful orientation, which mimics the tendon hierarchical tissue structure.Polycaprolactone (PCL) dissolved in acetone was electrospun using pre-determined parameters. Fibres were collected on a fine-edged mandrel rotating at high speed (aligned fibres) and low speed (random fibres). 3D fibrous bundles were fabricated by manipulating 2D mats of aligned fibres. Physicochemical characterisation of the three different scaffolds (2D aligned and random mats, and 3D bundles) was performed, including; tensile properties, fibre morphology and crystallinity. Cellular interactions of tendon cells seeded onto each scaffold were similarly determined by assessing; cell proliferation, contact guidance and matrix expression. Results determined 3D bundles to have superior tensile properties and, similar to aligned 2D mats, demonstrated cellular orientation comparable to cells within natural tendon. As a pilot study, 3D bundles were successfully implanted into the Achilles tendons??? of mice for three weeks. Normal ambulation returned within 48hrs and all mice survived. Research into longer-term in vivo studies and scaling of single 3D bundles to create hierarchical fibrous structures is currently on-going. We believe biodegradable 3D electrospun bundles, made from PCL, could provide an alternative therapy for the repair and regeneration of damaged tendons.Biographical statement:Lucy Bosworth is interested in electrospinning applications for tissue regeneration and in vitro models, and is currently continuing her PhD research, ???3D Electrospun Bundles of Polycaprolactone for Tendon Regeneration???, funded by a Proof of Principle grant. Lucy and Prof. Downes are co-editing an electrospinning book, titled; ???Electrospinning for Tissue Regeneration???.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2010
    EventElectrospin 2010 - Langham Hotel Melbourne, Australia
    Duration: 26 Jan 201029 Jan 2010


    ConferenceElectrospin 2010
    CityLangham Hotel Melbourne, Australia


    • Electrospinning
    • Biopolymer
    • Polycaprolactone
    • Tendon


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