Home » Key Nanotechnology Articles » Uniaxially aligned electrospun all-cellulose nanocomposite nanofibers reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals: scaffold for tissue engineering.

Uniaxially aligned electrospun all-cellulose nanocomposite nanofibers reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals: scaffold for tissue engineering.

He X, Xiao Q, Lu C, Wang Y, Zhang X, Zhao J, Zhang W, Zhang X, Deng Y.

Biomacromolecules. 2014 Feb 10;15(2):618-27.

State Key Laboratory of Polymer Materials Engineering, Polymer Research Institute at Sichuan University , Chengdu 610065, China.

Abstract

 

Uniaxially aligned cellulose nanofibers with well oriented cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) embedded were fabricated via electrospinning using a rotating drum as the collector. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images indicated that most cellulose nanofibers wereuniaxially aligned. The incorporation of CNCs into the spinning dope resulted in more uniform morphology of the electrospuncellulose/CNCs nanocomposite nanofibers (ECCNN). Polarized light microscope (PLM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) showed that CNCs dispersed well in ECCNN nonwovens and achieved considerable orientation along the long axis direction. This unique hierarchical microstructure of ECCNN nonwovens gave rise to remarkable enhancement of their physical properties. By incorporating 20% loading (in weight) of CNCs, the tensile strength and elastic modulus of ECCNN along the fiber alignment direction were increased by 101.7 and 171.6%, respectively. Their thermal stability was significantly improved as well. In addition, the ECCNN nonwovens were assessed as potential scaffold materials for tissue engineering. It was elucidated from MTT tests that the ECCNN were essentially nontoxic to human cells. Cell culture experiments demonstrated that cells could proliferate rapidly not only on the surface but also deep inside the ECCNN. More importantly, the aligned nanofibers of ECCNN exhibited a strong effect on directing cellular organization. This feature made the scaffold particularly useful for various artificial tissues or organs, such as blood vessel, tendon, nerve, and so on, in which cell orientation was crucial for their performance.

Go To PubMed

Cellulose nanocrystals