“The loss or failure of an organ or tissue is one of the most frequent, devastating, and costly problems in human health care. A new field, tissue engineering, applies the principles of biology and engineering to the development of functional substitutes for damaged tissue.” By R. Langer and J. P. Vacanti, Tissue Engineering, Science, vol. 2620 (5110), P. 920-925, 1993.

Tissue engineering typically involves growing cells on implantable synthetic scaffolds to regenerate damaged or diseased tissues. The fabrication techniques to control cellular adhesion and biomaterials used to generate scaffold re both areas of intense research and development.

Our approach is to mimic the architecture and the biological functions of the extracellular matrix, which provides cues for cells to behave normally. Using electrospinning and a biodegradable polyurethane (LTU), we can produce scaffolds with exceptional elasticity, high-tensile strength, and biodegradation products that are non-toxic. In addition, we are able to encapsulate drugs, such as DNA and growth factors, to control their release as a mean to enhance tissue-degeneration, to regulate cellular functions, and/or to treat tissue-specific diseases.

Fibroblasts seeded upon polymer posts. The diameters of these posts are 20 microns, and only the surfaces of these posts have been coated with fibronectin to localize cellular attachment.

Primary human-dermal fibroblast grown on electrospun LTU. The cell has been stained for actin, nucleus, and focal adhesion sites (vinculin). These sites are co-localized along the LTU fibers.

Our work with tissue engineering has been published and selected as the cover art for the book entitled Nanotechnology in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine by CRC Press.

Cat. #: K10090

ISBN: 987--781439801413

ISBN 10: 143980141X

Publication Date: 11/22/10

Nmber of Pages: 302