The use of nanotechnology in tissue engineering applications has brought to the forefront promising techniques for the precise and controlled fabrication of 3D scaffolds for use in tissue regeneration. Such techniques result in scaffolds with physical properties that differ from those of their bulk counterparts, but are more similar to the nanoscale surfaces and structures seen by cells in the body, such as the extracellular matrix. These biomimetic scaffolds are then capable of eliciting, regulating, maintaining and/or modulating specific cell responses that lead to enhanced new tissue formation.

Nanofibers have emerged as prime 3D tissue scaffold candidates due to their high porosity, high surface area, and ease of fabrication. A wide variety of parameters such polymer concentration, viscosity, applied voltage etc. can be optimized to obtain desired diameter and morphology of these resultant nanofibers. Furthermore, numerous natural and synthetic biodegradable and biocompatible polymers have already been adopted for use in this 3D scaffold system.

Abstract muscle fibers (Shutterstock)